The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is a prestigious continental competition contested by the member nations of the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF). The inaugural edition was played in 1957 between the three founding nations - Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Egypt - the winners of the first edition - are the most successful team in AFCON history with seven triumphs. In 2010, the Egyptians became the first country to win a hat-trick of Africa Cup of Nations titles (2006, 2008 and 2010) having emerged victorious in three consecutive editions of the tournament.

Cameroon, hosts of AFCON 2021, are the second-most successful team having lifted the title five times. They enjoyed a lot of success in the early 2000s as the Indomitable Lions won back-to-back trophies in 2000 and 2002. Cameroon won their last AFCON title in 2017.

Ghana won their first African Cup of Nations trophy in 1963, and went on to achieve success on another three occasions. Since they were the first team to win three AFCON titles, Ghana were given the permanent right to keep the original trophy - Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy in 1978.

Nigeria have tasted AFCON success thrice in 1980, 1994 and 2013. Ivory Coast - one of the most well-known African football nations - triumphed first in 1992 and then in 2015 after beating Ghana 9–8 in a penalty shootout. 

Algeria, the current holders, ended their 29-year wait for an AFCON trophy with a 1-0 win over Senegal in the last edition of the tournament. In 1990, the Desert Warriors hosted and won the AFCON. Their 1990 triumph aside, Algeria’s best result until the 2019 win was just a fourth-place finish in 2010.

African Cup of Nations winners list: Know them all

1957: Egypt

1959: United Arab Republic

1962: Ethiopia

1963: Ghana

1965: Ghana

1968: DR Congo

1970: Sudan

1972: PR Congo

1974: Zaire

1976: Morocco

1978: Ghana

1980: Nigeria

1982: Ghana

1984: Cameroon

1986: Egypt

1988: Cameroon

1990: Algeria

1992: Ivory Coast

1994: Nigeria

1996: South Africa

1998: Egypt

2000: Cameroon

2002: Cameroon

2004: Tunisia

2006: Egypt

2008: Egypt

2010: Egypt

2012: Zambia

2013: Nigeria

2015: Ivory Coast

2017: Cameroon

2019: Algeria

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: AFP / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED