Home » Can Andre Onana add to shortlist of African keepers that won UEFA Champions League?

Can Andre Onana add to shortlist of African keepers that won UEFA Champions League?

by Lesley Ngwa
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On June 10, 2023, Cameroon International goalkeeper, Andre Onana who plays club football for Italian Serie A side, Inter Milan, will play the finals of the UEFA Champions League.

When he steps into the field, he will become only the third African goalkeeper to play the finals of that competition.

After Bruce Grobbelaar of Zimbabwe in 1984 and Édouard Mendy of Senegal in 2021, André Onana joined them in 2023.

Surprisingly, every African goalkeeper who has reached the Champions League final has won it. Grobbelaar won with Liverpool, Mendy with Chelsea and now Onana looks set to triumph.

Inter Milan signed Andre Onana on a free transfer from Ajax in the summer of 2022. He is only into his first season at the club but has already established himself as a fan favourite among the Nerrazzuri fanbase, having replaced veteran Samir Handanovic as the first-choice keeper.

The 27-year-old has played 38 matches in total for the Italian side and kept 19 clean sheets while conceding only 30 goals in all competitions (stats via Transfermarkt). He had a major contribution in the Serie A club reaching the Champions League final for the first time in 13 years, having secured 8 clean sheets in 12 appearances.

Onana therefore becomes the first Cameroon goalkeeper to reach the UCL finals and the third African goalkeeper to reach that level.

After reaching the semi finals of the competition, Andre Onana was rated the best goalkeeper in the champions league, thanks to his 40 saves in 6 matches; the best and highest recorded by any goalkeeper.

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