The governing body of the African Player of the Year award - Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently released a list of 30 players who have been shortlisted for the 2019 edition of the award. The Liverpool duo of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane, along with Arsenal captain and forward Pierre Emerick Aubameyang are three prominent names on the list.
Going by the odds and the popular soccer predictions, many are expecting Liverpool forward Sadio Mane to emerge the winner this time. Mohammed Salah on the other hand is targeting his 3rd consecutive trophy after getting named into the list. He successfully defended his crown in 2018 having scored a total of 44 goals for Egypt and Liverpool, also finishing as the Golden Boot winner of the 2017-18 edition of the English Premier League (scoring 32 goals).
In the event that Egypt star goes on to win this award once again, he will be the 3rd player in the history of the award to have accomplished this feat, alongside Abedi Pele, the ex-Marseille star and the Ac Milan icon George Weah. Samuel Eto’o and Yaya Toure are the only two players who have won this award four times.
The talented 27-year-old footballer is facing stiff competition from his fellow Liverpool player Sadio Mane. The Senegalese emerged as the joint top goal scorerin the English Premier league last season, having scored 22 goals, same as Salah. These two are joined by another one of their teammate from Liverpool, Naby Keita, in this list.
Other deserving players
Arsenal’s Aubameyang is also in the fray having won it successfully in the year 2015. In fact, the trio of Aubameyang, Mane and Salah were the final 3 candidates in the last two editions of the award.
Riyad Mahrez, the forward for the Algerian national football team and Manchester City, is also there on the list and had won it in 2016.
Aubameyang’s teammate from Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe of Ivory Coast is another good contender, alongside Nigerian Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City who is making quite a mark in the present edition of the tournament. Also in the fray is Trezeguet, the Aston Villa midfielder.
Idrissa Gueye of Paris St. Germain, who plays for Senegal is there in the list too, so is Kalidou Koulibaly, the Napoli defender who has made a successful return to the list, having missed out the nomination last year.
Some of the other well-known African players in the shortlist, who play in Europe include Hakim Ziyech and Andre Onana, the Ajax duo that helped the Dutch giants make it to the Champions League final and score a domestic double.
Borussia Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi, Wilfred Zaha, the Crystal Palace winger and Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid are some other names that have found a mention as well.
This list will be eventually narrowed down to 3 names by end of this year, with the eventual winner announced on January 7, 2020, at a formal ceremony in Egypt.Share this via: