The former AC Milan defender believes that the competition is missing players who carry a creative spark and has called for such footballers to come to the fore at the semi-final stage.
"All I can say is, let's be crazy. Let's dribble with the ball, try a nutmeg in the box, or a [Zinedine] Zidane turn," Desailly told Fifa.com
"These days you see a lot less tricks. I want to see new faces in the final rounds rather than the same teams, who've had their chance before.
"The Afcon has come on in lots of ways, like in organisation and media coverage, but I feel it's lost a bit of its magic in that regard."
Desailly won the World Cup with France in 1998 but is Ghana-born.