The long wait is finally over. The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 kicked off in Cameroon on Sunday evening.
This is a chance for some of the brightest footballers to showcase their talent as they battle for the biggest prize.
So, who are the favourites for the crown?
The hosts, one of the traditional heavyweights will be one of the favourites. The Indomitable Lions have the home advantage, and players to propel them to glory.
Their attack, led by the likes of Vincent Aboubakar, Karl Toko Ekambi, Ignatius Ganago, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, is one of the best among the teams set to battle for the trophy.
Andre Onana has also returned to the international fold following his ban.
Can the Lions make it six titles?
👀 Keep calm ✔️
⚽️ Score ✔️
🕺 Celebrate accordingly ✔️
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 9, 2022
The Pharaos are always favourites in every tournament. They are the most successful team on the continent with seven titles and will be gunning to make it eight.
Led by Mohamed Salah, the North Africans have a good mix of young and experienced players to help them all the way.
First, though, they need to make it out of a tough group that has Nigeria, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
The Super Eagles will be one of the top teams to watch. They will however miss the services of three key players in Emmanuel Dennis, Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo, who will not be part of the team.
Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze will be tasked with leading the Eagles’ attack.
Their first task will be beating Egypt in the Group, where they also face Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
🇨🇮 Ivory Coast
The Elephants have an amazing squad. Ajax dangerman Sebastien Haller leads the attack and is supported by the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Nicolas Pepe and midfield enforcer Franck Kessie.
They will come up against one other tournaments favourites and current title holders Algeria in Group E.
Can they go all the way?
The defending champions are always the team to beat. Algeria have a formidable squad led by Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
Apart from Mahrez, the north Africans have the likes of Islam Slimani and Said Benrahma, who will lead their attack.
Can they defend the crown they won in 2019?
The Lions of Teranga lost 1-0 to Algeria in the 2019 finals and are once again hot favourite.
They are led by Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, and there’s genuine quality in every department.
Can they repeat the 2019 magic and march all the way to the finals?