By Amakye Ansah
#9. Ethiopia 🇪🇹
Nickname: Walia Ibex
Last Appearance: 2013
Coach: Wubetu Abate (Ethiopia)
Best AFCON results: winners (1962)
Skipper: Getaneh Kebede
Player to watch: Getaneh Kebede
CAF Rankings: 40
FIFA Rankings: 137
Walia Ibex, a pioneer in Africa football. Their halcyon days were between 1957 to 1968. They were runner-up in 1957, won the competition in 1962, finished third in 1959, finished 4th in 1963 and 1968.
They have not been at this competition since 2013 when they finished last in their group with a single point. Nonetheless, they play exciting football.
Wubetu Abate is a fan of possession football and it is quite astonishing that he plays that kind of football predominantly with players plying their trade in the Betking Ethiopian Premier League.
Only two abroad based players in Shemeles Bekele (El Gouna, Egypt) and Mujib Kassim (JS Kabilye, Algeria) were picked by Wubetu Abate.
Ethiopia won the highest percentage of possession in each of their six games in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Credit must be given to Abate for being able to assemble this squad to play that attractive football.
Goal scoring is their Achilles heel. In Group A with Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde, how will Walia Ibex fare?
Bekele Shemeles, Kebedeh Getaneh and Jemal Tasew were part of the Walia Ibex 2013 AFCON squad.
According to Kidus Yoftahe, an Ethiopian journalist, In the current Walia Ibex squad :
There’s a total of 350+ caps won and 70+ goals scored among the players.
(Top scorers : Getaneh Kebede- 32, Shemeles Bekene- 10 and Gatoch Panom- 7).
The average age of the squad is 25.321 year.
Youngest player – Fasil G/Michael (21)
Oldest player – Jemal Tassew (32)
The Core of the team
Sidama Bunna goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko is Wubetu Abate’s number 1 goalkeeper.
Youngster Ramadan Yesuf and Aschelew Tamene will lead the Ethiopian defence.
Skipper Shemeles Bekele of El Gouna and Amanuel Yohannes will provide the needed link in midfield.
Getaneh Kebede, all-time top-scorer (32 goals) for Walia Ibex, will be expected to bang in the goals.
Asrat Tunjo ,Aschalew Tamene, Megnot Debebe, Ramadan Yesuf (DF)
Amanuel Yohannes , Mesoud Mohammed
Shemeles Bekele (MDF)
Dawa Hotessa, Getaneh Kebede ©️,