Wednesday, July 17, 2024

John Barnes: Africa could win FIFA World Cup in 20 years


Legendary Liverpool forward John Barnes believes Africa will have to wait for at least two more decades to win the FIFA World Cup.

No African country has ever reached the World Cup semifinals with Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal the only three sides of 13 countries top have qualified for the tournament to have advanced to the quarterfinals.

Barnes was in Zambia on a one-day stop as Liverpool ambassador courtesy of the EPL club’s sponsors Standard Chartered Bank.

“It is very difficult to win the World Cup, it is very difficult to get to the quarterfinals, very difficult to get to the semi finals,” Barnes said in Lusaka on Thursday.

“I can’t really see an African team winning the World Cup in the next 20 years.”

Nigeria and Algeria were the only African sides in Brazil to make it out of the group stage.

“African teams are doing well, they are getting better placed with their players playing abroad,” Barnes said.

“If you look at the African players, they are playing in top teams in Europe, they have to come back and help their country to do well.

“What would help is if the African players came back and probably played with the same attitude and desire for their country as they do with their clubs because we see when they play for their clubs they play with desire and good attitude, but when they come back to play for their country they have problems internally, off the field problems.”


  1. As I saw it, quality is all that matters. And that too, is not rocket science. In that respect, however, African teams are still a long way off!

  2. Iwe Barnes wali fye ikula when playing for England. All I remember you is eating bench at Italia 90. Africa will win the world cup sooner than 20 years. The calibre of Ivory Coast players is world class and can easily win the world cup today except for the attitude and soccer politics. Don’t tell me that it takes 20 years to change an atitude iwe mambala. World cup is a tournament of so many combinations; a golden era generation of players, injury free players, favorable decisions in one or two matches,(like Brazil so far) lucky draws etc. Mind you its only 7 games the closer you get to the finals the more chances you get. Chipolopolo won AFCON against all odds and yet they were not amongest the best 5 of book makers to win it. IWE BARNES ULI WA CHABE CHABE

  3. I think Barnes is underrating Africa too much. I would say the 2026 world cup will be won by an African team from the north.

    • Excuse Barnes he doesn’t know what he is talking about an African team has better chances of winning World Cup than England.
      People like Barnes woke up in the later years of their lives.

  4. Barnes is correct… infact he put it very mildly … Africa may win soccer world cup after 2090. African teams lack discipline. For African teams being at the world cup is like 100% achievement. Winning the world cup is more than quality. Remember Spain..

    • @ PanAfricanist, I totally agree with you. The truth hates but we need to be very honest as Africans with our state of football and its administration. Winning the African cup does not mean you can win the world cup. There is a huge difference. The sad thing is; every other continent seem to be making progress whilst Africa appears to be retrogressing. Look at Camerron for instance. African football is a reflection of our society at large. We need to sort ourselves seriously!!

  5. @ken copa, barnes is right. 20years is equal to five tournament. we see that an african team can reach semis and finals. its a good prediction

  6. I don’t agree with John Barnes, I think it will happen sooner than 20 years. It just a question of mindset. When they put their minds to it look at the determination and quality of Algeria, Nigeria Ghana, and even Zambia when we won the Africa Cup. The problems we have do not necessarily need 20 years to fix. Its a question of self confidence. e.g. England is a good team but has low self confidence at World Cup level, so they get kicked out. Do they need 20 years to fix that? I don’t think so.

  7. John Barns is right. We need to change our mentality, but unfortunately this wont happen soon. This problem manifests in all aspects of our lives as Africans. We seem to work better under the supervision of white people.

    • spartan what crazy talk you make. read what jay jay is trying to teach you. it is good for you my brother. why would you chose to be subservient to a people who massacred your ancestors in millions. Ichi ichimuntu mwita ati john cecil rhodes who brutally murdered thousands of ndebele people and others and yet we still idohlise him as a great man and even take up scholarships in his name. it is really a mystery. Ati am a rhodes scholar, what nonsense and foolishness!!!!

  8. Its not “Africa” winning the world cup. The world cup is NOT an intercontinental tournament, it is not Europe vs south america, vs africa, or asia!!! Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria did not go to represent Africa, just like england, spain did not go to represent europe.

  9. In Zambia as long as we have corrupt self serving football officials like Kalu there…you can forget about it.

  10. Lol… african think prayers and juju can help them solve their problems!! When other teams are busy training hard my nigga’s think worshipping an invisible muzungu will help them win.. what a bunch of loosers.

    • viva african spiritual and cultural renaissance. We are going back to our roots as lucky dube sang. that is where the salvation for africans lies. Jay Jay, Ex -Zambian viva brothers/sisters.

  11. Thanx for your contribution but you could have also talked about match fixing. All african teams played well except for Cameroun. John burnes or whoever you are, African teams are almost getting there. It all started with Ghana winning under 20 world cup. The only thing we need is to equip our coaches and players with football psychology. Forexample, Ghana almost broke the record when they were 2:1 up against German. The coach for German realised they needed players who are known for scoring corners considering their heights. German equalised and almost scored more….20 yrs is too much

  12. VOTE PF in 2016, we brought u africa cup in 2012, now we promise 2018 RUSSIA WORLD CUP will come to ZAMBIA, IF U VOTE FOR HATERS LIKE HH then no soccer in zambia, only Cattle rustling will be common

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