North Africa's football revival may have coincided with that of Tunisia's coach Roger Lemerre, but the 24th African Cup of Nations also saw the emergence of some young stars of the future.
Oliech's striking prowess caught the eye
Among those who impressed and are likely to earn lucrative moves to top European clubs are Kenya's Dennis Oliech, Pascal Feindouno of Guinea, the Moroccan Marouane Chamakh and Algeria's Yahia Anther.
Oliech has apparently alerted scouts from the English Premiership and the French league, while left-sided defender Anther showed the promise which persuaded Inter Milan to coach him as a youth player.
If Feindouno adds clinical finishing to his energy and skill, then French side Bordeaux may struggle to keep the 22-year-old.
Chamakh also plays for Bordeaux, and the 19-year-old's selfless team play and intelligent passing marked him out as a potential superstar.
The major flops were Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o and El Hadji Diouf of Senegal.
Eto'o was billed as the star to watch, but the 22-year-old Real Mallorca striker scored only once as Cameroon bowed out to Nigeria in the quarter-finals.
The not so Indomitable Lions displayed arrogance and a palpable degree of conceit, and failed in their attempt to become the only nation to win three straight African Cups and five overall.
Diouf was a big disappointment
Meanwhile, Diouf is dimming from the international spotlight as rapidly as he rose into it.
One of Senegal's stars in the 2002 World Cup, Diouf no longer scores goals, has a petulant, provocative temperament, and clashes continually - and often needlessly - with officials.
His wild antics in the quarter-final defeat to Tunisia means he is suspended for Senegal's next four World Cup and
African Cup qualifiers.
The two-time African Player of the Year has not scored a competitive goal for club side Liverpool or Senegal since March last year.
Where Eto'o and Diouf disappointed, Nigeria's Jay-Jay Okocha showed just why he has been a consistent international performer for over a decade - and was voted the tournament's best player.
The 30-year-old Nigeria captain's four goals pulled him level in the scoring charts with Mali's Freddie Kanoute, Cameroon's Patrick Mboma, Santos of Tunisia and Morocco's Youssef Mokhtari.