Prolific Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o is just one of many Africans to have made their goalscoring mark in La Liga over the years.
Many African players have made outstanding contributions to La Liga over the years, with links between Spanish football and the entire continent growing stronger every day.
Ex-Barcelona and Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o tops the list of all-time African scorers in La Liga. Former Sevilla and Mali striker Frederic Kanoute, now an official La Liga ambassador, is in second spot with 1990s SD Compostela and Nigeria forward Christopher Ohen third.
There are 23 players from 22 African nationalities who have found the net in La Liga through the years. The first was pioneer Alhaji Momodo Njie – known as Biri Biri – at Sevilla in the 1970s. The connection between the continent and La Liga looks set to continue, with young Kenyan international Michael Olunga the latest African to open his goalscoring account with Girona during the 2017-18 season.
Top 10 African La Liga goalscorers
162: Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon (Real Madrid, Real Mallorca, Barcelona)
The top African footballer of all time in La Liga is Samuel Eto’o, who scored 162 goals (108 in 144 appearances for Barcelona and 54 in 128 appearances for Real Mallorca) in the competition. The former Cameroon international, who started his career in Real Madrid’s youth system, won three La Liga titles during his time at the Camp Nou [2004-05, 2005-06 and 2008-09], as well as the top scorer award in the 2005-06 season with 26 goals.
89: Frederic Kanoute – Mali (Sevilla)
Frederic Kanoute became a hero at the Sanchez Pizjuan during his seven seasons as a Sevilla player, during which he scored 89 times in 209 La Liga appearances. The ex-Mali international’s best season was 2006-07 when he found the net 21 times in 32 games in the competition as Sevilla challenged all season for the La Liga title before eventually finishing third.
48: Christopher Ohen – Nigeria (SD Compostela)
Christopher Ohen came through the youth ranks at Real Madrid, playing for their Castilla youth team before joining second-tier side SD Compostela in 1991. An immediate hit with the Galicians, he helped them to promotion three years later before hitting 48 goals in 117 games during four seasons in the top flight. To this day, he remains Compostela’s record goalscorer in La Liga.
43: Youssef El Arabi – Morocco (Granada)
Youssef El Arabi joined newly promoted Granada from Saudi side Al-Hilal in the summer of 2012 and quickly settled in as a key member of the team, spending four seasons in La Liga. The Morocco international’s 43 goals in 130 games included hat-tricks against Malaga and Levante and a fine strike against Real Madrid in his final season at the club.
34: Valdo – Cape Verde (Real Madrid, Osasuna, Espanyol, Malaga, Levante, Racing Club)
Valmiro Lopes Rocha – known as Valdo – is another ex-Real Madrid youth teamer who scored 19 times in five seasons at Osasuna between 2002 to 2007. The twice-capped Cape Verde international also represented Espanyol, Malaga, Levante and Racing Club as an attacking midfielder. Now 37, he is still turning out for Peña Sport in Spain’s third tier.
33: Rodolfo Bodipo – Equatorial Guinea (Racing Santander, Alaves, Deportivo La Coruna)
Seville-born Rodolfo Bodipo forged a long and successful career as a centre-forward for six different Spanish sides. The Equatorial Guinea international starred in particular at Racing Santander with 16 goals across the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, while his famous header for Deportivo La Coruna in a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou in 2009 is also well remembered.
31: Cedric Bakambu – DR Congo (Villarreal)
Cedric Bakambu was a firm favourite with Villarreal’s fans during his two and a half seasons at the club during which time he scored 31 times in 75 La Liga appearances. A hat-trick against Eibar in October 2017 saw the pacey centre-forward become the first African winner of the La Liga Player of the Month award.
24: Manucho Goncalves – Angola (Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano)
Powerful centre-forward Manucho landed in La Liga after joining Real Valladolid from Manchester United in 2008 and is most remembered for his brace against Real Madrid in December 2012. In the summer of 2014, he joined Rayo Vallecano, where he is currently a La Liga 1l2l3 cult hero at the age of 35.
24: Mohammed Tchite – Burundi (Racing Club)
Mohammed Tchite racked up three excellent La Liga campaigns with Racing Club, scoring 11 goals in his final season in 2009-10. A double strike from the Burundi international against neighbours Sporting Gijon on the final day of that season, which saved his side from relegation, will live long in the memory of football fans in Santander.
22: Sofiane Feghouli – Algeria (Almeria, Valencia)
After an initial year on loan at Almeria, Sofiane Feghouli became a key member of the Valencia team during four seasons in the first team at Mestalla. The attacking midfielder’s best campaign was 2013-14, when his performances brought him the official award as the top African player in La Liga.
16 – Arouna Kone – Ivory Coast (Levante)
10 – Thomas Partey – Ghana (Atletico Madrid)
10 – Ibrahima Balde – Senegal (Atletico Madrid, Osasuna)
10 – Benni McCarthy – South Africa (Celta Vigo)
10 – Lassad Nouioui – Tunisia (Deportivo La Coruna)
9 – Biri Biri – Gambia (Sevilla)
8 – Alhassane Keita – Guinea (Real Mallorca)
8 – Thievy Bifouma – Congo (Espanyol, Almeria, Granada)
5 – Emmanuel Adebayor – Togo (Real Madrid)
4 – Mido – Egypt (Celta Vigo)
3 – Jonathan Zongo – Burkina Faso (Almeria)
3 – Michael Olunga – Kenya (Girona)
3 – Simao Mate Junior – Mozambique (Levante)