Sadio Mane and Sébastien Haller have followed in the footsteps of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jay-Jay Okocha and Tony Yeboah in gracing the Bundesliga stage. - © DFL
Sadio Mane and Sébastien Haller have followed in the footsteps of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jay-Jay Okocha and Tony Yeboah in gracing the Bundesliga stage. - © DFL

Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sébastien Haller and the top 10 Africans to play in the Bundesliga


After Sébastien Haller scored the winner to crown Ivory Coast as 2023 Africa Cup of Nations champions, picks out the Mother Continent's preeminent names to have graced the German top flight down the years.

1) Sadio Mané 

Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Winger/ forward

Mané made the switch to Bayern in summer 2022 on the back of a decorated six-year stint at Liverpool. He produced 120 goals and 49 assists in 269 competitive appearances for the Reds, top scoring in the 2019/20 English Premier League and finishing second only to Mohamed Salah in the 2021/22 club charts. Mané got his hands on Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, English FA Cup and Carabao Cup titles along the way, adding to the to-back Austrian doubles he previously won at Salzburg. The Senegal international also had a hand in five goals as his country lifted the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, but left Bayern in 2023 after just one season at the club.

Watch: All of Mané's goals and assists in 2022/23

2) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Forward

Aubameyang scored 98 times in 144 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Dortmund - a record tally for an African in Germany's top division. The Gabonese striker played alongside Robert Lewandowski at BVB before going toe-to-toe with the Bayern marksman in the race for the top scorer's cannon. After scoring 54 across his first three seasons in the Bundesliga, Auba rattled off a league-leading 31 goals to become the first African to claim the Torjägerkanone outright - as well as winning the 2016/17 DFB Cup. Until Lewandowski's record-breaking efforts in 2019/20 and 2020/21, it marked the biggest single-season haul by a non-German.

Watch: All of Aubameyang's 2017/18 Bundesliga goals

3) Gerald Asamoah

Club: Hannover, Schalke, St. Pauli, Greuther Fürth
Position: Forward

Asamoah was also pretty handy in the final third. The Ghanaian hit 28 goals in 79 matches for Hannover, before becoming a firm fan favourite at Schalke. He spent 11 years at the Ruhr-district club, producing 44 goals and 34 assists across 279 appearances. The late nineties and early noughties were halcyon days for the two-time DFB Cup winner. He became the first Africa-born player to represent Germany in a May 2001 friendly against Slovakia - an occassion he marked with the opening goal. The 43-time international, who featured at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, wrapped up his playing career at St. Pauli, Greuther Fürth and in the Schalke reserves. Nowadays, Asamoah enjoys a first-team management role back at Schalke.

Ronaldo (l.) and Brazil denied Gerald Asamoah (c.) and Germany in the 2002 World Cup final in Japan and South Korea. - Imago

4) Kevin-Prince Boateng

Clubs: Hertha Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt
Position: Midfielder

Boateng's international career played out the other way around, with the Berlin-reared midfielder having represented Germany up to U21 level before declaring for paternal homeland Ghana. Boateng won 15 caps for the Black Stars, lining up on the opposite side to half-brother Jerome at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The Boateng brothers also faced off on occasion in the Bundesliga, where Kevin-Prince enjoyed spells with Hertha, Dortmund, Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt, where he won the DFB Cup. A midfield hard man, he also played in England, Italy and Spain before rounding off his playing career in Berlin.

Watch: Boateng's top 5 Bundesliga goals

5) Jay-Jay Okocha

Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Position: Attacking midfielder

Despite the best efforts of Okocha, Frankfurt were relegated automatically at the end of 1995/96 after finishing the season in 17th place, bringing an end to Okocha's sauce-laden four-year Bundesliga stay. The Nigerian set playing fields alight with some audacious pieces of skill, goals and assists, with his solo run and finish past the great Oliver Kahn the most memorable of the bunch. He went on to play for Paris Saint-Germain and in the English Premier League, before hanging up his majestic boots in March 2012, with 101 goals and 52 career assists in 492 club matches to his name. So good they named him twice, Jay-Jay is now part of the official Bundesliga Legends network.

Watch: Okocha's wondergoal past Oliver Kahn

6) Tony Yeboah

Clubs: Saarbrücken, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburg
Position: Striker

Yeboah was a teammate of Okocha at Frankfurt, not to mention a hugely significant figure in the history of the German game. Eintracht's first black player and the first African to claim the Bundesliga's top scorer's prize - albeit sharing the 1992/93 cannon with Bayer Leverkusen's Ulf Kirsten - the Ghanaian defended his crown a year later by matching Stefan Kuntz's 18 strikes. He reached double figures for goals in four of nine full Bundesliga seasons that sandwiched a famous stint in England with Leeds United. Old Thunder Thighs was the Bundesliga's record 96-goal African scorer until Aubameyang came along, and in another significant milestone is the first from that continent to have captained a German top-tier club.

Tony Yeboah (c.) earned cult hero status during his time at Eintracht Frankfurt. - Imago

7) Samuel Kuffour

Clubs: Nuremberg, Bayern Munich
Position: Centre-back/ right-back

Kuffour wasn't short of leadership qualities, even if he didn't have the opportunity to lead out a Bayern team that boasted battle-hardened generals like Kahn, Lothar Matthäus and Stefan Effenberg. A robust defender of the highest order, the Ghanaian endeared himself to Bayern fans with his despairing, turf-thudding reaction to the club's last-gasp 1998/99 UEFA Champions League final loss to Manchester United. The frown was turned upside down in 2001, though, when Kuffour helped Bayern take home Old Big Ears after a penalty shootout win over Valencia. Sammy scooped the 2001 African Footballer of the Year award for his efforts, and can also count seven Bundesliga and DFB Cup winner's medals among his collection.

UEFA Champions League winner Sammy Kuffour (l.) was the first African to play for Bayern Munich. - Imago

8) Sébastien Haller

Clubs: Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund
Position: Forward

Haller initially made a name for himself as part of an irresistible Frankfurt attack alongside Luka Jović and Ante Rebić between 2017 and 2019, hitting 15 goals in 29 Bundesliga outings in the 2018/19 campaign. He had subsequent spells and West Ham and Ajax before Dortmund brought him back to the Bundesliga in summer 2022, but his life was soon turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis in pre-season training. After successfully undergoing surgery and a course of treatment, Haller battled back, scoring nine goals in 19 appearances as BVB agonisingly lost out on the Meisterschale on the final day of the 2022/23 campaign. The 29-year-old became an instant hero in Ivory Coast when he scored the winning goal against Nigeria in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. 

9) Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Clubs: Hamburg, Nuremberg, Mainz, Schalke, Bayern Munich
Position: Forward

Choupo-Moting broke through at Hamburg and played for Nuremberg, but it was with Mainz where he made his name. The former Germany youth international - who opted to represent Cameroon at senior level - scored 10 single-season Bundesliga goals in 2011/12 and 2013/14, before spending three years at Schalke. After matching his 22-goal Mainz haul, Choupo-Moting played for Stoke City in England and won back-to-back Ligue 1 titles with PSG, helping the latter reach the final of the 2019/20 Champions League. The French giants were beaten 1-0 by Bayern, for whom the trusty veteran has since been on the books since 2020.

Watch: Choupo-Moting's top 5 Bundesliga goals

10) Souleymane Sané

Clubs: Freiburg, Nuremberg, Wattenscheid
Position: Striker

Leroy Sané plays in the same Bayern team as Choupo-Moting, treading a professional path his dad knows all too well. Souleymane, better known as Samy, scored 116 times across the top two divisions of German football, as well as finding the target 29 times in 55 games as a striker for Senegal in the 1990s. It was during the first of his two spells at the now defunct SG Wattenscheid 09 that Souleymane met Leroy's mother. Regina Weber was a rhythmic gymnast who won Olympic Bronze for Germany at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. The Sané-Weber connection has also spawned Kim - a former Wattenscheid right-back - and current Eintracht Braunschweig winger Sidi.