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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.

Senegal secured their first title in history as they won a 4-2 penalty shootout against Egypt in the AFCON 2021 final.

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 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

Year Winner Runner-up
1957 Egypt Ethiopia
1959 United Arab Republic Sudan
1962 Ethiopia United Arab Republic
1963 Ghana Sudan
1965 Ghana Tunisia
1968 DR Congo Ghana
1970 Sudan Ghana
1972 PR Congo Mali
1974 Zaire Zambia
1976 Morocco Guinea
1978 Ghana Uganda
1980 Nigeria Algeria
1982 Ghana Libya
1984 Cameroon Nigeria
1986 Egypt Cameroon
1988 Cameroon Nigeria
1990 Algeria Nigeria
1992 Ivory Coast Ghana
1994 Nigeria Zambia
1996 South Africa Tunisia
1998 Egypt South Africa
2000 Cameroon Nigeria
2002 Cameroon Senegal
2004 Tunisia Morocco
2006 Egypt Ivory Coast
2008 Egypt Cameroon
2010 Egypt Ghana
2012 Zambia Ivory Coast
2013 Nigeria Burkina Faso
2015 Ivory Coast Ghana
2017 Cameroon Egypt
2019 Algeria Senegal
2021 Senegal Egypt

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

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