Parallel Universe: Kylian Mbappe, Bukayo Saka among 10 Stars that could be playing at the AFCON

Parallel Universe is a series that insights into superstar footballers that could be playing at the AFCON in Cameroon this January, in an alternate reality.

The superstar footballers who would be playing at the AFCON in a parallel universe

Did you know that in an alternate reality, some of the biggest superstars and names in world football should be in Cameroon representing their national teams at the AFCON 2021 tournament?


It's incredible how much African ancestry you might find out transcends to even the farthest borders of the planet earth.

However, as fate would have it, these superstars for one reason or another are representing other national teams that are not African and it's incredible given the amount of talent the African continent would boast of in world football.

Here is a list of players that would most likely be in Cameroon balling at the AFCON......on a normal day technically. Lol!

1 Kylian Mbappe - Current National Team (France)

Parallel Universe Team - Cameroon

22-year-old PSG star striker, Kylian Mbappe is the best young player on the planet and one of the best players in the world and currently plays for current World Cup Champions- France.

Mbappe's father- Wilfred Mbappe is from Cameroon and his mother Fayza Lamari is even from Algeria, hence he is more than eligible to play for the Indomitable Lions but according to the Les Blues star, he chose to play for France, because both the Cameroon and Algeria football federations didn't have enough time to make contact with either him or his family when he was still age 15, Hence his quick break into the France national team.

There had also been reports that he couldn't get the right marketing as Cameroon under 17 teams were hardly involved in any major tournaments as well.

2 Paul Pogba - Current National Team (France)

Parallel Universe Team - Guinea

Paul Labile Pogba is one of the best midfielders in the world. The 28-year-old Manchester United star was an integral member of France's 2018 World Cup-winning squad.

Paul is the youngest of the Pogba brothers- Matthias and Florentin, both of whom have played for the Guinean National Team.

Pogba is the only one of his brothers that was born in France and while his elder brothers chose to represent Guinea, he chose to represent France- a decision that parents never had issues with, stating that he had always had a dream of playing for Les Blues.

3 Serge Gnabry - Current National Team (Germany)

Parallel Universe Team - Ivory Coast

Bayern Munich winger, Serge Gnabry currently plays for the German National Team at the International level. The 26-year-old was born to Jean-Hermann Gnabry and Birgit Gnabry, although his father Jean-Hermann is Ivorian, his mother Birgit is German.

Gnabry was born and raised in Stuggart, Germany and as he previously admitted - is the reason why he snubbed the Ivory Coast National team for the Die Mannschaft.

4 Tammy Abraham - Current National Team (England)

Tammy Abraham is a 24-year-old striker who plays for A.S Roma in the Italian Serie A and represents the England National team currently.

Tammy was born to Nigerian parents- Mr & Mrs. Bakumo Abraham with a father hailing from Bayelsa state.

Although the former Chelsea striker was born in Camberwell, Greater London - his real name is, Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham.

Although his performances earned him a call up to the Nigeria National Team, he however declined and chose to play for the Three Lions stating publicly his desire to stay and fight for an England starting shirt with Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and the rest of the England strikers.

Parallel Universe Team - Nigeria

5 Bukayo Saka - Current National Team (England)

Parallel Universe Team - Nigeria

Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka is a 20-year-old winger who plays for Arsenal FC in the English Premier League and currently plays for the England National Team.

Saka was born to Nigerian parents - Yomi Saka and Adenike Saka in Ealing, England.

However, Saka stated that it was a hard decision choosing England over Nigeria because he had lived all of his life in England and as well deemed it strange for him to adapt to a Nigerian environment that he had never been in since growing up.

6 Ngolo Kante - Current National Team (France)

Parallel Universe Team - Mali

Ngolo Kante is a 30-year-old midfielder who plays for Premier League league giants, Chelsea Fc, and is currently one of the best players in his position on the planet.

Kante was born in Paris, France after his parents migrated from Mali to Europe in 1980 to seek greener pastures.

The midfielder's parents are Malian natives but his parents' immigration into France automatically made him eligible to play for Les Blues.

Kante had wanted to play for the Malian National team before the France National team call-up and stated this publicly.

Before that call-up, he was unsure if he was good enough to play for the Les Blues and fast-forward what became ultimately his reality, he's unarguably one of the best French players in the world today.

7 Memphis Depay - Current National Team (Netherlands)

Parallel Universe Team - Ghana

27-year-old attacker Memphis Depay currently plays for La Liga giants, Fc Barcelona in Spain, and represents the Netherlands at the National team level currently.

Memphis was born to Ghanian father Dennis Depay, and a Dutch mother, Cora Schensema in Moordrecht, Holland which thus explains his decision behind representing the Netherlands being that he grew up as a Dutch native.

Regardless of Depay's international allegiance to Holland, he still has a very deep love for his fatherland, continuously visiting Ghana and doing charitable works from time to time.

In addition to being a footballer, Depay is also a songwriter, singer, and rapper and he's also released a track titled "From Ghana" to affirm his love for his fatherland.

8 Karim Benzema - Current National Team (France)

Parallel Universe Team - Algeria

Real Madrid talisman, Karim Benzema is regarded as one of the greatest strikers of his generation and one of the very best goals-coring machines around.

The French striker was born to Hafid & Wahida Djebbara - both of French and Algerian descent.

After being blacklisted by the French Football Association in 2015, for his alleged conspiracy to blackmail then-team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape scandal, he was finally recalled back to the French team by 2018 World Cup Winning coach, Didier Deschamps in 2021.

Benzema had turned down a chance to play for Algeria in 2006 and was on the course for a dramatic U-turn to represent the African team after missing out on the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup.

Benzema was told to forfeit his French citizenship if he so desired to play for Algeria and in as much as the FIFA regulation provided a glimmer of hope for Algerian football fans, the switch never materialiized.

9 Samuel Umtiti - Current National Team (France)

Parallel Universe Team - Cameroon

Samuel Yves Umtiti is a 28 year old defender who plays for La Liga club, Fc Barcelona and the French National Team.

Umtiti is the son of Mrs Annie Ngo Um, his mother in Yaoundé the capital city of the AFCON 2021 host nation, Cameroon and the details of his father is yet unknown.

Umtiti moved with his family to France at the age of Two and cites his French environment and growing up as a factor behind his decision to play for Les Blues despite Cameroon football Legend- Roger Milla's efforts to persuade the 28 year old to play for the Indomitable lions.

10 Ross Barkley - Current National Team (England)

Parallel Universe Team - Nigeria

28 year old midfielder Ross Barkley currently plays for Chelsea and the England National Team.

It might come as a shocker why or how Barkley is on this list....I know but oh well.. it's not an error.

Ross Barkley was born to a UK-based Nigerian father named Effanga (who left his mother when he was still a child).

Unfortunately, the player had no connection with his father and has previously stated that he would like to see Mr Effanga.

Barkley which Ross bears is actually his mother's maiden name instead of his father's Effanga.

Being that he never knew his father, there was no real justification for Barkley to play for the Super Eagles of Nigeria but he has previously admitted, Nigeria is one country he would've really loved to play for.


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