The African Footballer of the Year award is presented to the best African footballer each year. The award which is presently sponsored by Telecommunications giants GLO has been conferred by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 1992. Earlier, the African Footballer of the Year Golden Ball award was given out between 1970 and 1994 by
France Football magazine which now gives out the Ballon d’OR.
The changes resulted in parallel Golden Ball awards given out to Abedi Pele and George Weah in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
The nominees for the 2017 award has been trimmed down to three; Mohammed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Saido Mane.
Votes from a combination of head coaches and technical directors from national teams, as well as members of Caf’s Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts will determine the winners.
Let us briefly look at each of the players’ pedigree in 2017 as the award presentation draw nearer.
MO SALAH (Egypt, Liverpool)
The Liverpool forward was signed from Roma after a remarkable season with the Italian giants, that yielded 15 goals. The Egyptian winger hit the ground running on his Liverpool debut and already has over 20 goals in all competitions this season.
Earlier in the year, Salah helped Egypt reach the AFCON Championship finals. He was also instrumental to the national team’s qualification to the 2018 World Cup finals for the first time in 27 years; scoring 5 of Egypt’s 7 goals during the qualifiers. On December 11, the 25-year old was named BBC African footballer of the year, 2017.
SALAH’S STATS IN 2017
Egypt: 10 matches, 5 goals, 2 assists
Roma: 20 matches, 10 goals, 9 assists
Liverpool: 29 matches, 23 goals, 8 assists
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Gabon, Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabonese superstar had an impressive 2016/2017 season. He scored 31 Bundesliga goals in 32 appearances for Borussia Dortmund which won him the golden boot award. In the current season, Aubameyang has already scored 13 goals in his 15 league appearances.
AUBAMEYANG’S STATS IN 2017
Gabon: 4 matches, 2 goals, 0 assists
Dortmund: 47 matches, 41 goals, 5 assists.
SAIDO MANE (Senegal, Liverpool)
Mane 25, missed a large chunk of the 2016/2017 season through injury, but still managed to score 13 league goals for Liverpool. He was subsequently named in the PFA team of the year.
In the current season, the Senegalese has already scored 9 goals and form part of Jurgen Klopp’s famous, fab-four. Earlier in the year, he helped Senegal reach the quarter finals of the AFCON Championship.
MANE’S STATS IN 2017
Senegal: 7 matches, 3 goals, 2 assists
Liverpool: 28 matches, 12 goals, 7 assists
The final three nominees for the Women’s Player of the Year are
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala who plays for Quanjian, China.
South Africa’s Chrestina Kgatlana who plays for UWC Ladies, South Africa.
Cameroon’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene who plays for CSKA Moscow, Russia.
COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Nigeria’s Gernot Rohr.
Egypt’s Hector Cuper.
Wydad Athletic Club boss L’Hussein Amoutta.
Club of the Year
TP Mazembe Wydad Athletic Club
National Team of the Year
Youth Player of the Year
Krepin Diatta (Senegal & Sarpsborg)
Patson Daka (Zambia & Liefering)
Salam Giddou (Mali & Guidars)
Women’s National Team of the Year
Nigeria U-20 South Africa
In addition, there will be awards for the best set of Fans, the best Referee, the Most Promising Talent, as well as the Africa XI.
MEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Mohamed Salah of Egypt. Sadio Mane comes second and Pierre Emercick Aubameyang comes third.
PLATINUM AWARD: Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo.
President-elect of Liberia George Weah.
WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria.
NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR: Egypt
YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Patson Daka of Zambia.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Hector Cup, head coach of Egypt
CLUB OF THE YEAR: Wydad Athletic of Morocco
FOOTBALL LEADER OF THE YEAR: Ahmed Yehia of Mauritania.
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR: South Africa U20 team.
LEGEND AWARD: Sunday Ibrahim of Nigeria.