You may not know it but PSG, which will try to win its 14th French Cup this Wednesday night against Monaco, obtained its first two crowns thanks to an African: the Chadian striker Toko Nambatingue Dieudonné. Sport News Africa seizes the opportunity to make a top 10 of internationals from the continent who have marked the history of the French Cup finals.
1. Mohamed Salem (Algeria): The pioneer
Born in Oran, Algeria, on May 24, 1940, he started out at Mouloudia Club Oranais. But the Algerian striker would spend most of his career at Sedan, which he joined in 1960. The following season, he won the French Cup. His team beat Nîmes 3-1 in the final and Mohamed Salem, who was the starter, scored the third goal in the 82nd minute. He became the first African to win the trophy. With the Fennecs, Mohamed Salem recorded 4 selections. He died on May 23, 2008.
2. Rachid Mekhloufi (Algeria): A double for history
For some, Rachid Mekhloufi is among the best players in the history of Algeria. French international before the Independence, he swapped the tricolor jersey for that of the Fennecs from 1962. Born in Setif (1936), Rachid Mekhloufi has played twice for AS Saint-Etienne (1954-1958 and 1963-1968). It is during the last season of his second passage that he won the French Cup. The Algerian scored both goals in the 1968 final against Bordeaux (2-1).
3. Toko Nambatingue Dieudonné (Chad): The Parisian star
His name is certainly not the one that has remained in posterity. And yet Toko Nambatingue Dieudonné is perhaps the African who has most marked the finals of the French Cup. The native of Ndjaména in Chad (1952) participated actively in the first two trophies of PSG. First in 1982 against AS Saint-Etienne of a certain Michel Platini (author of a double), he scored the first goal for the Parisians who won the penalty shootout (2-2, tab 6-5). Then, the following year in 1983, in front of Nantes, Toko Nambatingue Dieudonné scored the winning goal (3-2) five minutes before the end of the game.
4. Bonaventure Kalou (Côte d'Ivoire): Scorer and winner twice in a bounce
The Ivorian Bonaventure Kalou is surely in the history of the French Cup as the player who has won the Cup twice in a row with two different clubs and having scored each time in the final. Roger Milla won it successively with Monaco (1980) and Bastia (1981) but only scored in the second final. Born in Abidjan in 1978 and trained at ASEC, Bonaventure Kalou won his first French Cup in 2005 with AJ Auxerre. In the final against Sedan, he scored the winning goal (2-1) in extra time (90+3). The Zimbabwean Benjani had scored the first goal for AJA. At the end of the season, Kalou signed for PSG with whom he won the 2006 French Cup. The Ivorian opened the score very early (5th) for the Parisiens who won against Marseille (2-1).
5. Mustapha Yatabaré (Mali): The exceptional year 2014
The Malian has left his mark on the 2014 edition of the French Cup. While his team Guingamp has just been promoted to Ligue 1, Mustapha Yatabaré carries it in the Cup. He arrives in the final with six goals on the counter. Rennes, which had already lost at this stage of the competition in 2009, lost again in the Breton derby (2-1). The executioner is none other than the Malian striker. Yatabaré scored both goals and thus brings his total to 8. He is also the top scorer of this edition.
6. Cheikh Diabaté (Mali): The symbol of an "African" final
In 2013, Bordeaux won the final against Evian Thonon Gaillard (3-2). All five goals were scored by African players. For the Girondins, the Malian striker Cheikh Diabaté scored the two goals and the Senegalese Henri Saivet the third. While the Ivorians Yannick Sagbo and Brice Dja Djédjé scored the Savoyard goals.
7. Roger Milla (Cameroon): The lucky charm of Corsica
After losing its first final in 1972 against Marseille (2-1), Bastia returns in 1981. This time, it was against Saint-Etienne, who already had six in their trophy cabinet. The Corsicans relied on the Cameroonian Roger Milla. The indomitable Lion had just won the Cup with Monaco (1980). However, he had not found the net in the final. He will do it with Bastia which takes the 2-1 lead on Saint-Etienne. It is Bastia's only victory in three finals.
8. Abdoulaye Diallo (Senegal), Two finals in a row lost
With Boubacar Sarr "Locotte" in 1976 against Lyon (2-0) and Henri Saivet against Evian in 2013 (3-2), he forms the very small circle of only Senegalese to have scored in the final of the French Cup. However, if the first two have won the trophy, Diallo has never won it. Worse for him, he missed the mark twice. Consecutively. With Marseille. In front of the same team, Bordeaux. First in 1986 (1-2), a defeat where he scored on penalty, then in 1987 (2-0).
9. Ismaïla Sarr (Senegal): the cold-bloodedness that puts an end to the Parisian hegemony
Between 2015 and 2018, PSG did not lose any round of the French Cup. The Parisians crush everyone at home, away and at the Stade de France. They become the first team to win four times in a row this competition created in 1918. And they are on the verge of a fifth in a row. Because in 2019, after 20 minutes, they lead 2-0 in the final against Rennes. But after the break, the Rennes sound the revolt. Ismaïla Sarr does not score met is on all the good shots of Rennes that equalizes (2-2). In the penalty shootout, the Bretons win 6-5. It is the Senegalese who transforms the 6th Rennes shot while Nkunku misses the Parisian attempt.
10. The others: they also scored.
Several other African players have distinguished themselves in the final of the French Cup by scoring. This is the case of the Burkinabe Moumouni Dagano (Sochaux, 2007), the Algerian Moussa Saib (Auxerre, 1994), his compatriot Kader Ferhaoui (Montpellier) and the Cameroonian Joseph Yegba Maya, known as Joseph or Zé (1969, Marseille).
Bonus: Roger Mendy (Senegal), the ball and President Mitterrand
What a nerve! 1991, Monaco wins the final of the French Cup by crucifying Marseille in the last seconds (1-0). The Monegasques parade to the official tribune to receive the trophy. There was a nice bunch of talents: Ettori, goalkeeper and captain, Marcel Dib, Luc Sonor, Sauzée, Weah... and a certain Roger Mendy, boss of the Monegasque defense and the Lions of Senegal.