Countdown to CAF African footballer of the year 2019

 

By Timeyin Mammah

 

The countdown is on. Who wins the 2019 CAF African Footballer of the year award? That is the question football buffs in Africa are waiting to be answered now.

At the moment, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has selected ten nominees for the award of African Footballer of the Year. The winner will be announced by CAF on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt.

Mohammed Salah (Eygpt and Liverpool)

The 27 year old Liverpool attacking midfielder enjoyed a phenomenal year finishing the 2018/2019 as joint top goal scorer of the English Premier League with 22 goals. He finished the year with Liverpool as runner-up in the 2018/2019 English Premier League season, narrowly missing out to Manchester City. For his country however, he did not achieve much success as Egypt failed to make any major impact at the African Cup of Nations 2019. He ended the year winning the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup with Liverpool. He is on course to help Liverpool win the 2019/2020 English Premier League season after over 30 years since the club last won it.

Prediction: Winner/Runner-Up

 

Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool)

Mane (age 27) also enjoyed a memorable 2019 with both club and country. He helped Liverpool to their second place finish of the 2018/2019 English Premier League season and ended the season as joint top goal scorer with 22 goals. He is on course to help Liverpool win the 2019/2020 English Premier League season after over 30 years since the club last won it. He won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup with Liverpool in 2019.

For country, Mane was one of the stars that helped Senegal to finish as runner-up at the African Cup of Nations 2019, contributing 2 goals and an assist. Mane also finished the year on a high note, coming fourth place in the 2019 Ballon d’Or awards.

Prediction: Winner

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Arsenal)

Despite the dismal form of his country and club, the 30 year old Arsenal and Gabonese forward did not let it affect his performance in 2019. He ended the 2018/2019 English Premier League season as joint top goal scorer with Sadio Man and Mohammed Salah with 22 goals. He ended the 2018/2019 UEFA Europa League competition as runner-up with Arsenal and was voted in the 2018-2019 UEFA Europa League of the Season. He didn’t feature at the African Cup of Nations 2019 due to Gabon’s failure to qualify for the competition.

Verdict: Possible third place finish.

 

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Manchester City)

The 28 year old Algerian and Manchester City winger enjoyed a fruitful 2019 with both club and country. He played a role in Manchester City completing a domestic treble by winning the 2018/2019 Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup. He also won the 2019 African Cup of Nations with Algeria and was included in the 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament.

Verdict: Possible third place finish.

 

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco and Ajax)

The 26 year old attacking midfielder was in impressive form in 2019. He helped his Ajax side to win the 2018/2019 Eredivisie title, the 2018/2019 KNVB Cup and the 2019 Johann Cruyff Shield. He also helped Ajax to a memorable UEFA Champion League semi-final finish. For his efforts, he was included in both the Eredivisie Team of the Year and the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season.

Verdict: Outside chance to win it.

 

Andre Onana (Cameroon and Ajax)

The 23 year old goalkeeper also had a remarkable 2019. He helped his Ajax side to win the 2018/2019 Eredivisie title, the 2018/2019 KNVB Cup and the 2019 Johann Cruyff Shield. He also helped Ajax to a memorable UEFA Champion League semi-final finish. As a reward for his impressive form, he was included in the Eredivisie Team of the Year.

Verdict:  Outside chance to win it.

The other nominees are: Ismail Bennacer (Algeria and AC Milian), Youcef Belaili (Algeria and Ahli Jeddah), Odion Ighalo (Nigeria and Shanghai Shenhua) and Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal and Napoli).

 

Mo Salah of Egypt

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