5 Most Successful Nations In AFCON History

AFCON Trophy
AFCON Trophy

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) has served as the continent’s primary soccer competition since its inception in 1957. Since 1968, the Confederation of African Football (CAF)-sanctioned tournament has been taking place biennially. It switched from even to odd years, possibly to avoid overload in FIFA World Cup years, in 2013 but returned to even years again in 2022.

The tournament’s latest iteration will take place between January 13, 2024, and February 12, 2024, in Ivory Coast. Sadio Mane’s Senegal will look to defend their crown, while tournament favorites Egypt, Nigeria, and Cameroon will aim to return to the summit after missing out in recent years.

Today, we will take a look at the teams that have dominated the tournament over the years. Now, without further ado, let’s check out the top five national sides with the most AFCON titles:

#5 Ivory Coast: 2 Wins

Ivory Coast Conquered Africa In 2015
Ivory Coast Have Won 2 AFCON Trophies

The hosts of AFCON 2023, Ivory Coast, know a thing or two about conquering the continent, having won the title two times in their history. They also finished as runners-up on a couple of occasions (2006, 2012).

Ivory Coast’s first AFCON title arrived in 1992 while the last one arrived nine years ago. They beat Ghana on penalties in the final to clinch the prestigious trophy in 2015.

#4 Nigeria: 3 Wins

Nigeria Won The AFCON In 2013
Nigeria Last Won The AFCON In 2013

In fourth place, we have Nigeria, with the Super Eagles winning the AFCON trophy thrice since 1957. Nigeria also had to settle for the runners-up medal in four iterations of the tournament (1984, 1988, 1990, 2000),

Nigeria’s first AFCON win came way back in 1980 when they hosted the tournament. They won it again in 1984 before clinching it for the third time in 2013. Nigeria picked up a slender 1-0 win over Burkina Faso to claim victory 11 years ago.

#3 Ghana: 4 Wins

Black Stars Won AFCON In 1982
Black Stars Became The First-Ever Four-Time AFCON Winners With Their Triumph In 1982

Ghana are one of the most consistent teams in the history of the African Cup of Nations. They have reached the final of the tournament a whopping nine times, emerging victorious in four of them (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982) and settling for second place in five (1968, 1970, 1992, 2010, 2015).

The Black Stars have not won the competition in 42 years, with their last triumph coming at the expense of Libya in the final (7-6 win on penalties). It will be interesting to see if they can end their drought in Ivory Coast in February.

#2 Cameroon: 5 Wins

Cameroon Have Won 5 AFCON Titles
Cameroon Won AFCON At Egypt’s Expense In 2017

Bagging five AFCON trophies in their history (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017), Cameroon have claimed the second spot in the all-time rankings. Les Lions Indomptables have played a total of seven finals, finishing second in 1986 and 2008.

Home to some of the finest players in history, Cameroon bagged their last AFCON trophy seven years back in Gabon. Beating Ghana in the semi-finals, Cameroon set up a tasty final with Egypt at the Stade de l’Amitie. Cameroon conceded in the first half but bounced back with aplomb in the second 45, clinching a 2-1 victory.

#1 Egypt: 7 Wins

Egypt Have Won The Most AFCON Trophies
Egypt Last Won AFCON In 2010

With seven AFCON trophies (1957, 19591, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010) to their name, Egypt sit at the top of the rankings. Mohamed Salah’s nation have also finished runners-up on three occasions, with their latest fumble coming in AFCON 2021.

Egypt, who won the very first iteration of AFCON in 1957, have failed to reach the summit in the last 14 years. They beat Ghana 1-0 in the final to claim their seventh and final African Cup of Nations trophy in 2010.

This year, the onus will be on Liverpool ace Salah to lead by example and end Egypt’s AFCON drought.

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