There are just five African sides at World Cup 2022 – each with star men, differing styles of play and for the first time ever, managers from their own nations, rather than plucked from Europe.
Africa brings the noise to the World Cup. The fans are bright and loud, while the players are often full of flair and fire in equal part. Pele's prediction of an African side in the semi-finals by the start of the 21st Century may not have come true – but who knows? Maybe we'll see that this time around?
Here are all five of the African teams at this tournament, ranked from the least dangerous to the most.
All the talk of Denmark's first game was how they lacked a real striker up front – but it did Tunisia somewhat of a disservice.
The north African side may be the weakest of any team from their continent to qualify for the competition but they're still incredibly well-drilled. Hannibal Mejbri may be the future star but there's experience across the pitch – especially in Montpellier frontman Wahbi Khazri – as well as pace on the flanks and physicality.
Tunisia aren't expected to qualify out of a group that also contains France – but a win over Australia would place them nicely to do just that.
Cameroon boast arguably the greatest African player of all-time, in current president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, Samuel Eto'o. Manager Rigobert Song played in five World Cups, too – there's legacy in the structure.
The current crop aren't quite as potent. Karl Toko Ekambi, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bryan Mbeumo are a dynamic frontline but there isn't the depth of quality in the Indomitable Lions' ranks that some nations at the tournament can boast. Still, they work hard as a unit and can trouble the big boys on their day.
In Achraf Hakimi, Morocco have the most expensive African player of all time. There is a fair amount of quality in the rest of the side, too. Nayef Aguerd and Romain Saiss make a good defensive partnership, with Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri as excellent attackers in the side.
Morocco went deep at the Africa Cup of Nations and tactically, they're a fascinating outfit that obviously lean heavily to their right side, with Hakimi and Ziyech dovetailing as Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi drops into the right-back slot to cover. They don't press with the ferocity of some of their rivals though and the lack of a cutting edge – a historic issue for Moroccan sides – may limit them at this tournament.
Ghana crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage in 2022 without a win. It might seem odd to rate them so highly nine months later but since that disaster, it's been all progress for the Black Stars.
Milovan Rajevac has gone, Otto Addo has joined and he's not alone. Tariq Lamptey is in the set-up now, as is Inaki Williams of Athletic Bilbao and Mohammed Salisu of Southampton. Mohammed Kudus of Ajax is now in throttle and there's a swagger back to the Ghanaian set-up that was sorely lacking in Cameroon earlier this year.
They're the favourites to go furthest of all African sides at this tournament for a reason.
OK, so they're Sadio Mané-less. But we're giving them the benefit of the doubt and still saying they're the best of the African sides at this tournament – they performed admirably against a strong Netherlands, too.
With Chelsea duo Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy as rocks at the back, Senegal have a strong spine behind them, with a plethora of decent midfielders ahead and the likes of Ismaila Sarr and Boulaye Dia in attack. Senegal are compact in defence, expansive in attack and though they're not blessed with world-class depth, they have plenty of dangerous players.
Of course, no Mané is a loss. How will it affect them in Qatar?
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