Afcon 2021: Every qualifier’s best previous performance
What’s the best previous performance at the Nations Cup by each of the confirmed 23 qualifiers for the 2022 tournament?
They finished fourth on home soil in 2015, having defeated Tunisia to reach the semi-finals, where they were dispatched by Ghana on a controversial night in Malabo.
They haven’t been in the tournament since 2010, their second appearance, but fell at the first hurdle then and in their debut campaign in 1984.
Winners in 1962, Ethiopia are fallen giants of African football…can they make a mark this time around?
2022 will be their third appearance at the continental showpiece, with Guinea-Bissau having fallen at the group stage in the two previous tournaments.
This will be Zimbabwe’s fifth appearance in the tournament, although they’ve never previously escaped from the group stage.
With Tino Kadewere and Khama Billiat leading the line, they should be confident of reaching the knockouts for the first time.
Title winners back in 1970…but they haven’t done much since!
They’re not among the championship contenders, but after eliminating South Africa from qualifying, they’ll fear no one.
This is only their second performance at the Afcon, having been eliminated in the group stage in 2019.
Quarter-finalists in 1996, and on home soil in 2012, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line, they will at least be aiming to emulate this performance…although they will need a favourable draw.
Quarter-finalists in 2013, when they were eliminated by Ghana in Port Elizabeth.
During the golden era of Guinean football, the Syli Nationale reached the final, but were defeated by Morocco in the 1976 final in Addis Ababa.
They’ve never clinched the big one, although they were defeated finalists in 1972 when they were beaten by Jean-Michel M’Bono-inspired Congo-Brazzaville.
The closest Burkina Faso came to winning the big one was in 2013, when they were dispatched by Sunday Mba and Nigeria.
They also reached the semis in 2017.
They’ve won the title on four occasions, but are without silverware since 1982.
It’s a long drought, but will it end in Cameroon?
One of Africa’s giants, Cameroon have won the Nations Cup on five occasions.
Their most recent success came in 2017, when they were triumphant under Hugo Broos in Gabon.
Two-time winners, the Golden Generation finally ended the Elephants’ 23-year wait for the title when they defeated Ghana in the 2015 final.
The North African giants clinched the title on home soil in 2004, defeating Morocco 2-1 following goals from Francileudo dos Santos and Ziad Jaziri.
Seven-time winners, Egypt’s Golden Generation conquered Africa on three consecutive occasions between 2004 and 2010.
It is, arguably, the outstanding achievement by an African national team.
Three-time winners, three generations of Super Eagles fans got to see their heroes lift the Afcon – in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
Will Gernot Rohr’s Golden Generation repeat the feat?
The reigning champions, Algeria will be looking to defend their crown successfully in Cameroon.
Their success in 2019 came 29 years after their previous triumph, as they downed Nigeria in Algiers.
A case could be made that Morocco are Africa’s greatest underachievers.
They’ve only once before won the Afcon, defeating Guinea in Ethiopia in the 1976 final.
It’s been a long old wait for gold.
Comfortably the biggest African nation never to win the Afcon.
Senegal were defeated finalists in 2002 and 2019 – both sides who also reached the World Cup – but with Sadio Mane in his prime, they can realistically hope to get their first winners’ medals this time around.