Super Eagles stars Wilfred Ndidi and Alexis Iwobi have been snubbed in the nominations for BBC African footballer of the year award with Egypt’s Mo Salah hoping to retain the award he won last year.
This year’s nominees are Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Thomas Partey (Ghana) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt). The vote opened on Saturday, 17 November at 19:00 GMT and closes on Sunday, 2 December at 20:00. The result will be revealed in a programme on BBC World News on Friday, 14 December at 17:30.
The shortlist has been compiled by a panel of African football experts which included former Nigeria international Peter Odemwingie . Liverpool forward Salah won last year’s award, with previous winners including Jay-Jay Okocha, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Riyad Mahrez.
Juventus centre-back Benatia, 31, won his fourth consecutive league title this year – two with Bayern Munich and two with Juve – and captained Morocco at this summer’s World Cup.
Napoli defender Koulibaly, 27, played his part in his club’s battle with Juve for the Serie A title, including the winner against the eventual champions in the run-in. He played all 270 minutes for Senegal in the World Cup.
Liverpool forward Mane, 26, also played in all of Senegal’s World Cup games, captaining his country in two and scoring against Japan. He was the joint-second top scorer in last season’s Champions League – with 10 goals for Liverpool, including one in the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the final.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey, 25, established himself as a first-team regular for Diego Simeone’s side, including a late appearance as a substitute in the Europa League final win over Marseille. He scored in international friendlies for Ghana against Japan and Iceland.
Liverpool forward Salah, 26, won the Premier League Golden Boot with 32 goals in May and, like Mane, scored 10 Champions League strikes in their run to the final. He scored both of Egypt’s World Cup goals – 40% of their all-time total at the tournament.
The list was announced live on BBC website shortly after Super Eagles sealed Qualification for next year’s AFCON holding in Cameroon.
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