The 32 remaining clubs in the UEFA Champions League have submitted their squad lists and there are no less than 34 Africans, including five Nigerian internationals spread amongst the teams, with the group stage which kicked-off early this week.
Super Eagles stand in skipper, Ahmed Musa of CSKA Moscow leads the Nigerian pack that also have John Mikle Obi (Chelsea), Brown Ideye (Olympikos), Moses Simon (Gent) and Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv).
Thirteen of the clubs have no Africans registered for their Champions League campaign, including Italian champions and last year’s Champions and runners-up Barcelona and Juventus, Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid
The Old Lady have Ghanaian Kwadwo Asamoah on their books, but given that he is still working his way back to full fitness after a serious injury last year, they have opted to exclude him from their UCL roster.
Asatana – the first Kazakhstani team to qualify for the group stages – boast three Africans in the shape of Foxi Kethevoama, Patrick Twumasi and Junior Kabananga.
Chelsea is another team with three players from our continent – Abdul Rahman Baba, John Obi Mikel and Bertrand Traore – though it could have been four had they included new signing Papy Djilobodji.
The Ivorian duo of Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony will have key roles to play if Manchester City are to finally challenge in the premier continental competition, while Mohamed Salah, Seydou Keita and Gervinho will look to inspire Roma to a strong showing.
Here are the clubs with Africans in the UEFA Champions League group stage:
Astana – Foxi Kethevoama (CAR), Patrick Twumasi (Ghana), Junior Kabananga (DRC)
Atletico Madrid – Thomas Partey (Ghana), Benjamin (Ghana)
Bayern Munich – Medhi Benatia (Morocco)
Benfica – Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez, Adel Taarabt (both Morocco)
Chelsea – Abdul Rahman Baba (Ghana), John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)
CSKA Moscow – Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Seydou Doumbia (Ivory Coast)
Dinamo Zagreb – El Arabi Hilal Soudani (Algeria)
Dynamo Kyiv – Younes Belhanda (Morocco)
Galatasaray – Aurelien Chedjou (Cameroon)
Gent – Kalifa Coulibaly (Mali), Nana Asare (Ghana), Moses Simon (Nigeria)
Olympique Lyon – Henri Bedimo (Cameroon), Bakary Kone (Burkina Faso)
Maccabi Tel Aviv – Nosa Igiebor (Nigeria)
Malmo – Enoch Kofi Adu (Ghana)
Manchester City – Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony (both Ivory Coast)
Olympiakos – Brown Ideye (Nigeria)
Paris Saint-Germain – Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast)
Porto – Yacine Brahimi (Algeria), Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon)
Roma – Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Seydou Keita (Mali), Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
Valencia – Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia)