Of the 552 players registered for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations, only three were there 13 years ago, when Egypt hosted the continental premier sports competition. Among the three is Nigeria’s returning captain, Mikel Obi who had his second international cap in Nigeria’s opening match with Zimbabwe.
The two other players returning to Egypt after 13 years are Carlos Kameni of Cameroon and Tresor Mputu of DR Congo.
The Nigerian captain now 32, was a part of English giants Chelsea squad in 2006. He joined China based Tianjin Teda in 2017 before returning to England with second tier Middlesbrough last January. Obi Mikel lifted the cup with the Super Eagles in their last AFCON appearance in 2013.
Now 35, he was then in the ranks of Spanish La Liga side Espanyol. He later played for Malaga before joining Turkey based Fenerbahce in 2017. He last appeared in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010, missing Cameroon’s fifth glorious campaign two years ago in Gabon.
He is 33 and still donning local giants TP Mazembe’s shirt as he was 13 years ago. He had a two years spell in Angola’s Kabuscorp (2014 – 2016) before returning to “Les Corbeaux”. He’s making a return to “The Leopards” in the continental showpiece after missing the past two AFCON edition, his last appearance being in 2013.