The World Cup Project – Episode 8 – The State of Football in Africa

We’re a little more than halfway through our World Cup Project and if you’ve missed any of the episodes, make sure you catch up by subscribing via your favorite podcast provider or check out our archives. In the meantime, today’s episode breaks down a fascinating topic that is sure to play a major role in Russia this summer.

Five nations from Africa are headed to the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on June 14, along with what might be the hottest player on the planet, Mohamed Salah who will be representing Egypt. On this episode, host Marc Damon welcomes fellow PSG Talk contributor Daniel Pregbaha, who hails from Nigeria where football is extremely popular and has become part of the culture.

After a brief discussion about what it’s like to grow up in Nigeria and how football is played by kids daily, Damon and Pregbaha transition into a fascinating discussion about the roots of the game in Africa and colonization. How the game reached Africans is vital in understanding the current status of the national teams. South Africa, for example, was influenced by the Dutch while several other northern African teams speak French and have a similar playing style. Once the game spread, the formation of confederations began and Africa was well on its way to becoming a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.

This episode also discusses the stars of African football. From George Weah to Samuel Eto’o, Pregbaha picks his Mount Rushmore of African football. How are these star players treated in their home countries and is it tough for some, like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), to know that they will likely never play in a World Cup due to their national team lacking the necessary talent?

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa proved to be a sense of pride for the entire continent but what would it be like if an African nation actually won the World Cup? Ghana reached the quarter-finals in 2010 but that’s the farthest an African team has made it in the tournament. Can Salah lead Egypt to a surprise run to the championship game like he has done with Liverpool FC in the UEFA Champions League? Damon and Pregbaha discuss every African team in the tournament and break down their chances of advancing.

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast (iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher) to receive every episode of The World Cup Project. The next episode will be available on May 28 and we will be talking with PSG Talk contributor David Wood about how current PSG players will fair with their national teams. Talk to you then!

Posted by Ed

Ed is the founder of PSG Talk. When he's not blogging about Paris Saint-Germain he's usually in the backyard practicing his Zlatan scorpion kicks.