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Sunday Mba: Was, ultimately, the difference-maker during the Cup of Nations, scoring the winner against the Cote d’Ivoire and then against Burkina Faso in the final.
However, inactivity, due to a transfer wrangle between Nigerian sides Enugu Rangers and Warri Wolves affected his form and fitness and completely undermined the rest of his 2013. Towards the year’s close, Mba had all-but lost his place in the Super Eagles’ first XI.
He ends the year with a move to CA Bastia of Ligue 2. It’s not the most fitting stage for an African champion, but at least Mba will receive an opportunity to get his career back on track and confirm that he is not a one-tournament wonder.
What a tournament though!
Efe Ambrose & Victor Wanyama: Fine performances against Barcelona at the end of 2012 set the tone for an exciting 2013 for this pair.
Ambrose made the Team of the Tournament during the Cup of Nations, but still isn’t totally convincing as a right-back for Nigeria. Some of his performances in the Champions League this season, and in last year’s Last 16 battle with Juventus were sub-par.
Victor Waynama’s showing against Barcelona prompted Southampton to shell out £12.5million on securing his signature. The Kenyan has taken a little time adapting to the Premier League and at times the Saints’ fans called for a return of Jack Cork.
Michael Essien: A fine, fine midfielder on his day, but sadly, due to injury and extended periods away from the pitch, those days have been few and far between. It remains to be seen whether Essien will ever rediscover his form of old.
Others to have missed out include: Kossi Agassa, Bayal Sall, Dieumerci Mbokani, Mbark Boussoufa, Mo Diame, Prince, Samuel Eto’o, Maestro Zokora, Elderson Echiejile, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Aurelien Chedjou & Christian Atsu.