Ahead of this weekend's international fixtures we pick an African XI.
Stephane Sessegnon and Ahmed Elmohamady are both in African international action this week so here at Sunderland AFC we felt it appropriate to find a ‘Sunderland African XI’.
Former Sunderland player and Cameroon international Patrick Mboma has been given the role of player-manager and he has gone with a 3-4-3 formation.
Iain Hesford – Hesford didn’t play internationally for an African side, though the Zambian-born stopper played 114 games for the Black Cats between 1986 and 1989 whilst he was also capped seven times by England under-21’s.
Talal El Karkouri – Moroccan international defender El Karkouri spent five months on loan with the Black Cats in 2003, playing nine times before returning to Paris Saint-Germain.
International caps: 53
Kader Mangane – Senegal international defender Mangane, like El Karkouri, spent five months on loan at the Stadium of Light, though he made just two appearances during his time on Wearside.
International caps: 23
John Mensah – Ghanaian defender John Mensah is the rock of our African backline having played 35 times in his two years’ on loan at the Stadium of Light. Mensah scored his only goal for the Black Cats in a 4-3 defeat at Manchester City in 2009.
International caps: 82
Ahmed Elmohamady – ‘Elmo’ will operate on the right side of midfield, the same position he plays for Egypt. Elmohamady is in his third year on Wearside after originally joining on loan from ENPPI, though he spent last season on loan at Hull City where he won the Tigers’ Player of the Year award.
International caps: 43
Dickson Etuhu – Nigerian international Dickson Etuhu spent a year with the Black Cats in 2007, playing 21 times and scoring once before joining Fulham. Now plying his trade at Blackburn Rovers Etuhu is our ball-winning midfielder.
International caps: 17
Sulley Muntari – Ghana international Sulley Muntari joined Sunderland on loan from Inter Milan in 2011, playing nine times and scoring once in his five months on Wearside. Muntari now plays for AC Milan.
International caps: 77
Stephane Sessegnon (Captain) – Benin captain Sessegnon is also the captain of our ‘Sunderland African XI’ with his experience for his own nation proving vital. Since joining from PSG in 2010 Sessegnon has played 95 times for Sunderland, scoring 18 goals.
International caps: 39
Benjani – Zimbabwean striker Benjani joined the Black Cats from Manchester City on loan during the 2009/10 season. He played eight times for Sunderland, mainly as a substitute, before returning to City and then Blackburn Rovers.
International caps: 31
Patrick Mboma – Cameroonian Mboma is our player-manager, his experience across world football proved vital in our selection. The former PSG man spent half a season with the Black Cats in 2002 on loan from Parma, scoring once in nine appearances. One of Cameroon’s greatest ever players, Mboma won gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
International caps: 57
Asamoah Gyan – Ghanaian striker Gyan completes our ‘African XI’ having scored 11 times in his 37 games for Sunderland. Gyan spent a year on Wearside before joining Al Ain on loan for a season, a move he made permanent in 2012.
International caps: 72
El Hadji Diouf – 69 Senegal caps, 21 goals
Don ‘The Rhino’ Kichenbrand – 1 South Africa cap, 0 goals