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€2.091 billion of stars on display as AFCON kickoffs knockout rounds 

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As the Africa Cup of Nations unfolds, the recently concluded group stages have set the stage for an exciting Round of 16 phase.  

Among the 16 teams that have qualified, a diverse mix of football prowess awaits. From seasoned giants to spirited underdogs, the tournament has seen both minnows and small teams securing their spots into the next phase. 

In the group stage, there were 89 goals scored in 36 games. Emilio Nsue from Equatorial Guinea stood out as the leading scorer with 5 goals. 

In this article, we delve into the squad values of these teams, examining their performances in the group stages and how it reflects their strengths on the field. 

 

All the Qualified Teams to the Round of 16 

 

Accoriding to Transfermarkt.com, these are the current squad values of qualified teams into the round of 16 stage, in no particular order 

NIGERIA — €332.00m 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria, boasting a squad value of €332.00m, secured a 2nd-place finish in Group A. Qualifying with 7 points from 2 wins and 1 draw, they scored 3 goals and conceded only 1. 

Notably, Africa’s Player of the Year, Victor Osimhen, the Napoli Forward holds the title of the most valued player in the team, with a market value of €110.00m. 

SENEGAL — €262.90m 

Senegal was the only team to win all their group stage matches, scoring 8 goals and conceding just one, finishing top of Group B with 9 points. The most valued players in the squad are Pape Sarr from Tottenham Hotspur and Nicolas Jackson from Chelsea, each with a market value of €35.00m. 

CAMEROON — €140.45m

In a nail-biting final group stage match, Cameroon secured a spot in the next round by defeating Gambia. They ended up 2nd in Group B with 4 points, with 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss. The team scored 5 goals and conceded 6. The most valued player in the squad is Andre Onana, Manchester United’s goalkeeper, with a market value of €40.00m. 

MOROCCO — €347.40m 

Morocco claimed the top spot in Group F with 7 points, securing 2 wins and 1 draw. During the group stage, they scored 5 goals and conceded only 1. The most valued player in the squad is Paris Saint-Germain’s defender Achraf Hakimi boasting a market value of €65.00m. 

COTE D’IVOIRE — €334.58m 

Miraculously, Cote d’Ivoire has advanced to the next round of the AFCON with a bit of luck on their side. They needed help from other matches to secure qualification, finishing 3rd in Group A with slim hopes. Fortunately, they managed to be one of the four best third-placed teams, securing the 4th spot among them. The most valued player is Ousmane Diomande, Sporting Lisbon Center back, with a market value of €40.00m. 

EGYPT — €135.60m 

The seven-time African Champions couldn’t secure a single win in the group stage, drawing all three games and ending up 2nd in group B. They scored and conceded 6 goals each. Notably, the most valued player in the squad is Liverpool’s forward, Mohammed Salah with a value of €65.00m 

EQUATORIAL GUINEA — €10.00m 

Surprisingly, a team with a modest squad value topped Group A, where Nigeria and the Ivory Coast also competed. Emilio Nsue, the team’s striker, leads the scorers with 5 goals. They finished at the top of Group A with 7 points from 2 wins and 1 draw, scoring 9 goals and conceding 3. The most valuable player in the team is Saul Coco, a Center Back from UD Las Palmas, with a market value of €3.00m. 

CAPE VERDE — €27.20m 

Adding to the surprises of the group stages, Cape Verde, with a relatively modest squad value, emerged as the group leaders in a tough pool featuring heavyweights Egypt and Ghana. Their solid performance saw them secure the top spot with 7 points, including 2 wins and 1 draw. The team scored 7 goals and conceded only 3. 

FC Toulouse’s center back, Logan Costa, is the most valued player in the squad, valued at €5.00m 

MALI — €137.80m 

Mali ended up on top in Group E with 5 points, getting 1 win and 2 draws. It’s kind of interesting because they only scored 3 goals and let in 1, but still managed to lead the group. The most valued player in their squad is Yves Bissouma, the midfielder from Tottenham Hotspur, and he’s worth €30.00m. 

SOUTH AFRICA — €23.03m

Bafana Bafana secured the second spot in Group E, trailing behind Mali with 4 points from 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss. They managed to score 4 goals while conceding 2 during the group stage. The team’s most valued player is Teboho Mokoena, the midfielder from Mamelodi Sundowns, with a value of €2.20 million. 

GUINEA — €89.40m 

Guinea secured the third position in Group C and advanced to the knockout round as one of the best third-placed teams, even though they ended with the same points as Cameroon, who finished second. Guinea, with 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss, scored 2 goals and conceded 3. The most valued player in the team is Serhou Guirassy, the striker from VFB Stuttgart, valued at €40.00m. 

ANGOLA – €22.25m 

Angola, despite having a modestly valued squad, clinched the top spot in Group D with 7 points, securing 2 wins and 1 draw. They netted 6 goals and conceded 3. The team’s most valued player is Zito Luvombo, the center forward from Cagliari Calcio in the Italian Serie A. 

BURKINA FASO — €99.90m 

Following Angola, Burkina Faso secured the second position in Group D, accumulating 4 points with 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss. They scored 3 goals while conceding 4 in the group stage. The team’s most valued player is Edmond Tapsoba, the center-back from Bayer Leverkusen, valued at €40.00m. 

MAURITANIA — €12.45m 

Mauritania had never taken the lead in any of their preceding eight matches at the AFCON, let alone secured a victory. Despite having a very modest squad value, they achieved a historic win against the 2019 Champions, Algeria, in the final round of group stage games.

With just one victory, they qualified as one of the best third-placed teams, securing a spot in the round of 16. They scored 3 goals and conceded 4. The most valued player in the squad is Aboubakary Koita, the winger from Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium valued at €5.00m. 

DR CONGO — €110.40m 

Similar to Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo also advanced to the round of 16 without a win, drawing all three games and securing the second position. They scored only 2 goals and conceded the same number. The squad’s most valued player is Yoanne Wissa, Brentford’s winger, valued at €25.00m. 

 

NAMIBIA — €6.35m 

Out of all the teams that advanced to the round of 16, Namibia has the lowest squad value. They qualified as one of the best third-placed teams, securing the third position behind Angola and South Africa in the first and second positions, respectively, in Group E. Finishing with 4 points, including 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss, they scored 1 goal and conceded 4. The most valued player in the squad is Peter Shalulile, the center-forward from Mamelodi Sundowns, valued at €2.20 million. 

Round of 16 fixtures and path to the final 

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