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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July 2005, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Know a player of African origin?
Patrick Owomoyela
Germany's Patrick Owomoyela has a Nigerian father
The export of African football talent to Europe has a long history which can be traced back to the colonial period.

For example, some of the finest players from Senegal and Cameroon have honed their skills in France - the former colonial master.

However, the world is also awash with African-born players who changed nationality for one reason or another.

Zinedine Zidane, Claude Makelele, Patrick Vieira and Marcel Desailly are some of the better-known stars of African origin.

Our Out of Africa section will track the fortunes of players with African roots as they parade their skills in some of the world's top leagues.

Listed below are some of the players with African roots and the countries they now represent.

But if you know of any player of African origin whose name does not appear on our list, please let us know by emailing us at

Zinedine Zidane: France (Algeria)
Matteo Ferrari: Italy (Born in Algeria, Guinean mother)

Sidney Govou: France (Benin)
Jean-Alain Boumsong: France (Cameroon)
Charles Itanje: France (Cameroon)
Bruno N'Gotty: France (Cameroon)
Pascal Nouma: France (Cameroon)

Henrik Larsson: Sweden (Cape Verde)
Manuel dos Santos: France (Cape Verde)

Rio Mavuba: France (DR Congo/Angola)
Claude Makelele: France (DR Congo)
Peguy Luyindula: France (DR Congo)
Blaise N'Kufo: Switzerland (DR Congo)
Emile Mpenza: Belgium (DR Congo)
Mbo Mpenza: Belgium (DR Congo)
Kiki Musampa: Holland (DR Congo)
Ali Maboula Lukunku: France (DR Congo)
Gaby Mudingayi: Belgium (DR Congo)
Patrick Dimbala: Belgium (DR Congo)
Vincent Kompany: Belgium (DR Congo)
Jose Bosingwa da Silva: Portugal (DR Congo)

Rami Shabaan: Sweden (Egypt)

Youssouf Hersi: Holland (Ethiopia)

John Alieu Carew: Norway (Gambia)

Freddy Adu: United States (Ghana)
Gerald Asamoah: Germany (Ghana)
Marcel Desailly: France (Ghana)
George Boateng: Holland (Ghana)
Eric & Daniel Ofori Okyere: Belgium (Ghana)
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie: Holland (Ghana)

Miguel: Portugal (Guinea Bissau)

Olivier Kapo: France (Ivory Coast)
Djibril Cisse: France (Ivory Coast)
Martin Djetou: France (Ivory Coast)

Collins John: Holland (Liberia)

Vikash Dhorasoo: France (Mauritius)

Yassine Benajiba: Belgium (Morocco)

Abel Xavier: Portugal (Mozambique)

Patrick Owomoyela: Germany (Nigeria)
Emmanuel Olisadebe: Poland (Nigeria)
Shola Ameobi: England (Nigeria)
Okonkwo Digger Ifeani: Malta (Nigeria)
Ugochukwu Ehiogu:England (Nigeria)
George Ndah: England (Nigeria)
Nedum Onuoha: England under-20 (Nigeria)

Laurent Robert: France (Reunion)
Didier Agathe: France (Reunion)
Florent Sinama-Pongolle: France (Reunion)

Patrick Vieira: France (Senegal)
Ibrahim Ba: France (Senegal)
David Bellion: France (Senegal)
Patrice Evra: France (Senegal)

Carlton Cole: England (Nigeria/Sierra Leone)
Fabio Liverani: Italy (Somalia)

Sean Dundee: Germany (South Africa)

Sabri Lamouchi: France (Tunisia)

Robert Earnshaw: Wales (Zambia)
Jeff Whitley: Northern Ireland (Zambia)

Lewin Nyatanga: Wales (Zimbabwe)


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