Africa has produced some outstanding goalkeepers over the years; people like Idris Kameni of Cameroon, Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria, and Nader El Sayed- Egypt’s prolific penalty saver.
The average lifecycle during which a goalkeeper is at his peak is 12 years; and after that the team usually needs a replacement. With the intensity of the game on the African Continent, it is absolutely necessary to have quality shot stoppers, without them the team becomes a house without a door.
Thankfully, there are rock solid goalkeepers in Africa at the moment; they keep their defense-lines organized, and they also contribute to the overall confidence of their teams, thereby earning some of them the captain’s armbands for their teams.
Top 10 Best Goal Keepers In Africa
Mohammed Abou Gabal, also known as Gabasky, is a warrior of a goalkeeper, no doubt meriting top spot when it comes to goalkeepers on the continent. He is a trend setter; his idea of writing down potential penalty directions on his water bottle quickly became a thing, and was copied by other goalkeepers during the AFCON 2021.
Gabasky is serial winner at club level; he has dedicated his career to the Egyptian Premier League, featuring for clubs like ENPPI, Zamalek, Smouha, National Bank of Egypt.
Gabasky made a name for himself by saving penalty kicks; which caused the media to pay closer attention to him. It was then discovered that he writes the possible direction where each player might put the penalty on his water bottle. He produced such penalty saves consistently throughout the tournament; including the final match- earning him the man of the match title.
Gabasky has won several titles throughout his career; the CAF Super Cup, Egypt Cup 5 times, Egyptian Super Cup, and the Egyptian Premier League 3 times. Gabasky is an AFCON silver medalist; he lost the final at the 2021 AFCON via penalty shootout.
2. Yassine Bounou
Yassine Bounou (Order of the Throne: 2022) is the number one choice Morocco goalkeeper, and a spectacular performer indeed. He is also widely recognized for his goalkeeping exploits in the Spanish La Liga where he played for several years for Sevilla.
He is one of Africa’s greatest goalkeepers; he proved that by receiving a national honor, along with the rest of the Moroccan National Team after great performances at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, where they became the first African team to finish fourth in the tournament.
He already proved his mettle at the AFCON played in Cameroon in 2021, where he did really well.
At club level he is an elite goalkeeper, and a serial winner with plenty of accolades to show for his effort. He has won the Botola, Supercopa de Espana, and the UEFA Europa League.
3. Denis Onyango
Veteran Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango continues to stand like a Colossus at the back for his South African Premier Soccer League Club Mamelodi Sundowns. The man is vastly experienced; he has featured in the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, CAF Champions League, and many other top rated competitions.
Denis Onyango is the most recognized goalkeeper in the country; and one of the highest paid players in the league. He started his career in Uganda where he featured for clubs like Nsambya and Villa SC, before making the move to Ethiopian Club; St. George SA. But it was in South Africa that his career has blossomed; he has featured for clubs like Supersport United, Mpumalanga Black Aces, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits.
He has won the PSL 9 times, with two different clubs, he has won the CAF Champions League and the CAF SuperCup. He has also received many individual honours, including being listed among the top 10 goalkeepers in the world in an official compilation (2016) made by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.
4. Andre Onana
A bundle of talent and tenacity, Andre Onana has the reflexes to produce spectacular saves, and to keep doing it all evening until the game is over. As a young African player scouted as a raw talent one can imagine how difficult it is to break into the first team of a top European side.
But that is exactly what he did; he broke into the team at Ajax, and helped them win 3 league titles as well as several cups, and silver medal at the UEFA Europa League. He also helped the team stun the world a few times, and earn some respect at the Champions League.
Andre Onana started a new chapter of his career with a move to Inter Milan, and he has already demonstrated his eagerness to win laurels by grabbing the Supercoppa Italiana (2022). He is proved himself one of the best African goalkeepers before heading to Manchester United in 2023.
5. Rais Mbolhi
Rais Mbolhi is the AFCON 2019 winning goalkeeper of Algeria. He is noted for his ability to read the game and to snuff out the danger, and for his ability in one on one situations. He is also one of the most experienced goalkeepers on the continent, having played in several leagues in Scotland, Greece, Bulgaria, Japan, Russia, France, USA, Turkey, and now Saudi Arabia.
Rais Mbolhi has won the Scottish Cup, African Cup of Nations, and FIFA Arab Cup. He has also won several individual honours during the course of his career.
6. Eduoard Mendy
Not so long ago, Eduoard Mendy was said to be the best goalkeeper in Africa, and one of the best in the world. A string of inconsistent performances from him, a change in management, and a general lack of spirit at his club Chelsea have combined to work against him.
Nevertheless, he remains a formidable goalkeeper on his day, capable of single-handedly earning wins for his team. Edouard Mendy has earned his place in history; he won the AFCON 2021 with Senegal- the country’s first ever. He also won UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. He had previously won the Ligue 2. He has a couple of silver medals in his cabinet as well.
7. Mohamed El Shenawy
Mohamed El Shenawy is the goalkeeper of arguably the biggest club in the world; Al Ahly of Egypt. He is also a shot-stopper for the Egyptian National Football Team. His competition with Gabasky for the starting shirt for the Pharaohes of Egypt is healthy, and boosts the team.
Mohamed El Shenawy has very good reflexes, the ability to read the danger and step in at the right moment, and he is also very good in one on one situations.
He has been pivotal to the success of Al Ahly Football Club over the past few years. He has made 132+ appearances for the club, and won several accolades including 5 Egyptian Premier Leagues, 2 Egypt Cups, 3 Egyptian Super Cups, 2 CAF Champions Leagues, and 2 CAF Super Cups. He also reached the third place of the FIFA Club World Cup, and he has several individual honours.
8. Moez Ben Cherifia
Moez Ben Cherifia is the goalkeeper and Captain of Espérance de Tunis- one of the greatest football clubs in Africa. a dogged fighter with very good reflexes, he is very difficult to beat on his day. Aside from that he is a natural leader on the pitch, and can be seen organizing his backline, and shouting encouragement to players in up field positions.
Has been with Esperance since 2009, and has racked up 365+ appearances for his club. Unfortunately he has not been so successful with the Tunisian National Team, but he remains a very good goalkeeper.
Moez Ben Cherifia has won the Tunisian Professional League 11 times, and has won the CAF Champions League 3 times. He has also won other cups as well as personal honours.
9. Ibrahim Mounkoro
The brave and resilient Ibrahim Mounkoro of Mali is a goalkeeper that thoroughly deserves praise. He is very difficult to beat, and organizes his backline very well. He has established himself as the fans favorite at TP Mazembe of Congo DR; and any African club would jump at the opportunity to have him in their team.
Ibrahim Mounkoro has won a wheelbarrow full of trophies in his career; he won the Malien Premier Division 2 times, as well as the Malian Cup 2 times. He won the Linafoot (DR Congo League) 5 times, and won the CAF Champions League. He has also won the CAF Super Cup, the DR Congo Super Cup, and the CAF Confederations Cup 2 times.
10. Alfred Gomis
Alfred Gomis is a Senegalese goalkeeper who plays for Como in the Italian Serie B. He has been outshined by Edouard Mendy in the national team but remains a top goalkeeper by any calculation. He has proved his mettle as a goalkeeper; he won a silver medal with Senegal at the AFCON in 2021.
He has earned his stripes at Torino, Crotone, Avellino, Cesena, Bologna, Salernitana, SPAL, Dijon among other clubs. Alfred Gomis is still on contract at Rennes in the French Ligue 1, but he is on loan to Como in the Italian Serie B.
The best goalkeepers in Africa generally have to win laurels. The trouble lies in ranking the laurels in a manner that does not relegate African competitions to the background against other similar competitions across the world. Nevertheless, the list above shows that Africa has goalkeepers that can stand side by side with their counterparts anywhere in the world.