The Confederation of African Football has announced its final 10-man shortlist for the 2022 African Player of the Year with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez all in contention for the honour.
All three of these players have won the prestigious award in the past and are the most recent recipients dating back to 2016 with Salah receiving the accolade twice, while Mahrez and Mane have picked it up on one occasion each.
Bayern Munich forward Mane is the reigning holder from 2019, the last time the awards were held before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the 30-year-old will be the heavily-backed favourite upon its return after he, along with fellow nominees Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly inspired Senegal to their first ever African Cup of Nations title earlier this year. He also became the nation’s all-time leading goalscorer, surpassing Henri Camara.
Mane may be the front-runner this year but it is certainly a close race between him and the other other recent winners as all three of them have won silverware over the last year. Along with Salah, Mane helped Liverpool to a domestic double of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup. Salah once again finished the top scorer in the Premier League to scoop up his third Golden Boot as well as winning the Playmaker of the Year award for registering the most assists in the league too.
As for Mahrez he helped Manchester City to their fifth Premier League title where he netted 11 times in the league and nine times in the club’s run to the Champions League semi-finals.
The award has been collected by some iconic footballers from the continent including: Yaya Toure, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and George Weah.
Here is the full list of nominees:
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City & Algeria)
Karl Toko Ekambi (Lyon & Cameroon)
Vincent Aboubacar (Al Nassr & Cameroon)
Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund & Cote d’Ivoire)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt)
Naby Keita (Liverpool & Guinea)
Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain & Morocco)
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea & Senegal)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli & Senegal)
Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich & Senegal)
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