Ligue 1 Well-Represented at Africa Cup of Nations

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Ligue 1 Well-Represented at Africa Cup of Nations
Gallo Images/Getty Images
This year's AFCON is showcasing some of Ligue 1's top talent

As the 2013 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations shows off some of the continent's best football talent in South Africa, one European league is represented better than most: France.

Ligues 1 and 2 would perhaps have been better represented had Cameroon and Senegal made it through, and had the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, made the Ghanaian selection. But even without them, France's top flight still boasts a significant number of players across the teams.

France has for a long time been considered a feeder league for other countries, with the English Premier League being the most recent example of a competition plundering the wealth of talent on offer in Ligue 1. However, a large part of that success has been France's ability to attract a high concentration of African talent.

Over time that potential has either been nurtured and then sold at high profit like Michael Essien's move from Lyon to Chelsea for almost €30 million, or turned into naturalised French talent. The likes of Marcel Desailly (Ghana), Patrick Vieira (Cape Verde Islands and Senegal), Lilian Thuram (Guadeloupe) and Christian Karembeu (New Caledonia) all descended from Africa to represent les Bleus.

The latest class of African talent is particularly strong. Here are some of the main protagonists in South Africa.

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