Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1375, (4-10 January 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1375, (4-10 January 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Salah on Africa’s threshold

The African Player of the Year will be announced today, Thursday 4 January at the 26th annual CAF awards gala in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, writes  Abeer Anwar

Egyptian Mohamed Salah is among the trio nominated for the African title together with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Sadio Mane of Senegal.

For the first time, football fans had the chance to cast their votes and take part in the selection process for CAF’s Player of the Year award for the first time.

“For the African Player of the Year, the public can vote via the CAF website for their preferred choice amongst the top three contenders,” CAF said in a statement. The outcome will be tallied with the results from the two earlier phases of the selection process.

The winner used to be decided by votes from the head coaches/technical directors of the national teams affiliated to CAF, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts.

Liverpool’s red-hot winger Salah is favourite to land the award and become only the second Egyptian to win it after Ahly’s iconic forward Mahmoud Al-Khatib, who was named Africa’s best player by France Football magazine in 1983.

Salah is the current second top goal-scorer of the English Premier League with 17 goals, one behind Tottenham striker Harry Kane. Salah was named the BBC’s African Player of the Year earlier last month.

From 1992 to 2016, from Ghana’s Abedi Pele to Algerian Riyad Mahrez, 16 players have laid claim to the most prestigious individual honour in African football.
Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o was the first to be crowned on four occasions - 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010, a record since equalled by Yaya Toure, who made it four wins on the trot (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Former Senegal forward El Hadji Diouf won the award twice in a row, 2001 and 2002.

The first player to have been named CAF African Player of the Year on two occasions was ex-Nigeria captain Nwankwo Kanu, in 1996 and 1999 before Ivorian Didier Drogba replicated the feat in 2006 and 2009.

Egyptian national team

When the roll call for the laureates is launched, there is one noticeable observation. Cote d’Ivoire is the country which has the biggest number of triumphs, six in total, Toure (four) and Drogba (two), followed by Nigeria on five titles, two for Kanu, one each for Emmanuel Amunike, Rashidi Yekini and Victor Ikpeba.

Patrick Mboma won it once coupled with Eto’o’s four also gives Cameroon five titles. Diouf is responsible for the only two titles in the name of Senegal. One-time winners include Ghana – Abedi Pele, Liberia – George Weah (the only African player to have been crowned FIFA World Footballer of the Year), Morocco – Mustapha Hadji, Mali – Frederic Kanoute and Togo – Emmanuel Adebayor, Aubameyang on the ticket of Gabon and Mahrez for Algeria.

Other Egyptian nominees are Ahly Club, Egyptian National Team coach Hector Cuper and the Egyptian National Team.

Awards winners:

1992 Abedi AYEW PELE (Ghana)
1993 Rashidi YEKINI (Nigeria)
1994 Emmanuel AMUNIKE (Nigeria)
1995 George WEAH (Liberia)
1996 Nwankwo KANU (Nigeria)
1997 Victor IKPEBA (Nigeria)
1998 Mustapha HADJI (Morocco)
1999 Nwankwo KANU (Nigeria)
2000 Patrick MBOMA (Cameroon)
2001 El-Hadji DIOUF (Senegal)
2002 El Hadji DIOUF (Senegal)
2003 Samuel ETO’O (Cameroon)
2004 Samuel ETO’O (Cameroon)
2005 Samuel ETO’O (Cameroon)
2006 Didier DROGBA (Côte d’Ivoire)
2007 Frederic KANOUTE (Mali)
2008 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR (Togo)
2009 Didier DROGBA (Côte d’Ivoire)
2010 Samuel ETO’O (Cameroon)
2011 Yaya TOURE (Côte d’Ivoire)
2012 Yaya TOURE (Côte d’Ivoire)
2013 Yaya TOURE (Côte d’Ivoire)
2014 Yaya TOURE (Côte d’Ivoire)
2015 Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon)
2016 Riyad MAHREZ (Algeria)

Awards nominees:

African Player of the Year

Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)

Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)


Women’s Player of the Year

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Dalian Quanjian)

Chrestina Kgatlana (South Africa & UWC Ladies)

 Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene(Cameroon & CSKA Moscow)


Youth Player of the Year

Krepin Diatta (Senegal & Sarpsborg)

Patson Daka (Zambia & Liefering)

Salam Giddou (Mali & Guidars)


Coach of the Year

Gernot Rohr (Nigeria)

Hector Cuper (Egypt)

L’Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Athletic Club)


Club of the Year


TP Mazembe

Wydad Athletic Club


National Team of the Year





Women’s National Team of the Year

Ghana U-20

Nigeria U-20

South Africa

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