Ten African stars to watch at the World Cup!
The past decade has seen more and more African players excelling at some of the biggest clubs and on the biggest stages in Europe.
Now they'll be looking to take that experience and quality to the World Cup in Russia, where Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will be flying the flag for the African continent.
Here are 10 players to look out at the finals in Russia, which get underway on June 14 when the hosts tackle Saudi Arabia in the opening match.
1. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Salah is the obvious choice, the 25-year-old just having enjoyed a sensational season in England. He played 49 games in all competitions, scoring 44 goals and creating a further 14 assists, putting him up with the very best, his record up there with the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
An injury in the Champions League final has left Salah in a race against time to regain his fitness, but the Egyptians are hopeful he will recover in time. He'll certainly be crucial to the Pharaoh's hopes, having already netted 33 goals in 57 internationals for the north Africans.
Only 25-years old, the former Roma and Chelsea forward still has his prime years ahead of him and can further underline his status as one of the world's best players by helping Egypt make it through to the latter stages of the competition.
2. Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Another Liverpool player, Mane has not been too far behind Salah this season in terms of the impact he has made at the club. He scored 10 goals in 29 league matches in a season which had it's injury setbacks, and has scored 44 league goals in the past four seasons in England, more than proving himself at the highest level in arguably the toughest league in the world.
If Mane can find his goal-scoring form, the Lions of Teranga will surely be in with a good bet of advancing from Group H at the World Cup, which also includes Poland, Japan and Colombia. The 26-year-old's international record has seen him playing 51 games and netting 14 goals.
3. Victor Moses (Nigeria)
Moses has just enjoyed his best two years of his career, having become an integral part of the Chelsea side which won the FA Cup and the Premier League title over the past two seasons. This after he was shipped out on loan on a regular basis - to three different clubs, during his earlier days with the London team.
Blessed with blistering pace Moses has acquitted himself outstandingly as a wing-back for Chelsea and weighed in with four goals last season. His versatility though could see him used in a more advanced position at the World Cup; such as on the weekend, when he was employed more as a striker in Nigeria's 1-2 defeat to England in a friendly game. The 27-year-old has a more-than-useful record at international level, with 11 goals in 33 games.
4. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)
Born and raised in France by Senegalese parents, Koulibaly has spent the past four seasons at Napoli in Serie A and has established himself as one of Europe's most highly-rated central defenders. The 26-year-old has recently been linked to Chelsea, with one report mentioning a possible fee of around 85 million Euros, showing just how much he is valued at.
The 1.95 metre tall Koulibaly is only starting to reach his best years and the former Genk and Metz defender will know that a strong performance at the World Cup could set him up for life with a big-money move to his next club.
5. Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)
Iwobi was born in Lagos but departed for England at the age of four. Also a junior England international, the 22-year-old attacking midfielder has already netted five goals in 18 games for the senior Nigerian team.
Skilful, industrious, intelligent, Iwobi knows how to find pockets of space in midfield to pick out a killer pass or to drive goalwards himself, and he has become an increasingly influential member of the Arsenal side, having played 52 league games for the Gunners over the last two seasons.
6. Medhi Benatia (Morocco)
Born in Courcouronnes, France, to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother, Benatia has vast experience on the European stage, having been an integral part of the Juventus side which has gone to the latter stages of the Champions League the past two seasons.
Along with Giorgio Chiellini, former Bayern Munich central defender Benatia ensured that Juventus have one of the most respected defences in Europe and his coolness on the big stage should be a major asset for a Morocco side who are paired with Spain, Portugal and Iran at the World Cup.
In November last year, the now 31-year-old Benatia scored in a 2 - 0 win away to the Ivory Coast that qualified the Atlas Lions for their first World Cup showing in 20 years, which he called "the most beautiful moment of my career".
7. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
Iheanacho seems to have been around for some time, but is still just 21-years-old. His club career has slowed down a bit since he showed so much potential by netting eight goals in 26 matches for Manchester City in the 2015-16 season, having managed just three goals in 21 games for Leicester last term.
But one gets the feeling there is a whole lot more still to come from the wonderfully skilful young marksman, and with eight goals in only 17 internationals, Iheanacho has shown he can perform on the big stage. The Super Eagles will be looking to Iheanacho to help them advance past a group phase including Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.
8. Idrissa Gueye (Senegal)
The somewhat unheralded Gueye is a no-nonsense central midfield player of the highest order who has been efficiently going about his business in the middle of the park for Everton for the past two seasons. The top tackler in the Premier League 2016/ 17 season, Gueye's tenacity and ball-winning ability should see him as one of the standout African midfielders in Russia.
At 28-years-old, Gueye is in his prime and the Dakar-born hard-man has 59 caps to his name and has represented Senegal at the 2012 Olympics, the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
9. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)
Khazri announced himself on the world stage when he scored his first Premier League goal by beating Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea with a superb free kick for Sunderland. He stood out for Sunderland as an exciting and direct forward, full of running and skill, despite the Black Cats being relegated two seasons ago.
Last season the 27-year-old returned to France, where he had started his career, joining Rennes on a season-long loan spell. He went on to net an impressive nine goals in 24 games. And with 12 goals in 36 internationals for Tunisia, Khazri will be a key man for the north African side in Russia.
10. Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)
Ndidi is another player whose age belies the experience and maturity he shows on the park. Ndidi has proven a more than adequate replacement in the Leicester central midfield after the departure of N'golo Kante to Chelsea. Big, strong, athletic, full of energy and a good reader of the game, the 21-year-old is a ball-winner of note and has taken to the Premier League with ease after his move from Gent three seasons back.
Originally hailing form the Nath Boys Academy in Lagos, Ndidi has 16 caps for the Super Eagles to his name and heads into the World Cup full of confidence after his consistently outstanding performances for Leicester over the last two years. Nigeria's Midfielder of the Year and Leicester City's Yong Player of the Season is expected to recover in time from a hamstring injury to take his place in Russia.