The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has shortlisted ten potential winners of its prestigious award, 'African Footballer Of The Year' which includes Ghana's Andre Dede Ayew.
Name: Andre Ayew
Date of Birth: 17 December 1989
Club: Swansea City (England)
Ayew who currently plays for Swansea City has emerged as one of the most exciting players in the English Premier League this season following his summer move as a free agent from Olympique Marseille after eight years with the French side. He scored on his debut against Chelsea and has gone on to score four more goals taking his tally to five as at the end of October after 11 matches. At the international level, he was in good form and finished as top scorer of the tournament as Ghana lost out on penalties to Cote d’Ivoire at the Orange AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea.
Name: Aymen Abdennour
Date of Birth: 6 August 1989
Club: Valencia (Spain)
As one of the finest central defenders in world football at the moment Abdennour is such a formidable team player at his club and country. A mainstay at the backline of French side, Monaco before sealing a five-year deal with Valencia last August. Abdennour also played an influential role as Tunisia reached the quarters at the Orange AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea.
Name: Modather Al Tayeb ‘Karika’
Date of birth: 18 February 1986
Club: El Hilal
Eltaib is nicknamed ‘Careca’ after the famous Brazilian nineties striker, and is said to be the ‘golden boy’ of Sudanese football at the moment. He was a pain in the neck of many defenders during the Orange CAF Champions League, scoring three times as El Hilal reached the semis. He has also been involved with the Desert Hawks in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Name: Mohamed Salah
Date of Birth: 15 June 1992
Club: AS Roma (Italy)
Salah has had a geat year, distinguishing himself in the Italian Serie A with Fiorentina at the beginning of the year and lately Roma. The 23-year old joined Fiorentina on loan from Chelsea last February and netted six goals in all appearances. After a difficult season at Chelsea, he made a surprise season-long loan move to Roma last August and has warmed his way into the hearts of the fans of the capital based-club with his five goals so far. Also, he has two goals to his credit in the Pharaohs’ campaign in the AFCON 2017 qualifiers.
Named: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Date of Birth: 18 June 1989
Club: Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
The Gabonese and Dortmund forward is currently enjoying one of the best moments of his career, and the year 2015 is one that will forever be etched in his mind. His potency in front of goal has seen him become one of the most recognizable strikers in Europe this season. As at the end of October, he has netted 13 goals including a hat-trick in a 5-1 defeat of Augsburg and is joint top scorer with former team mate, Robert Lewandoski of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. His scored once as Gabon exited the Orange AFCON 2015 at the group stage.
Name: Sadio Mané
Date of Birth: 10 April 1992
Club: Southampton (England)
Mane belongs to the new generation of Senegalese footballers lighting up major leagues abroad. The fast and talented offensive midfielder is a handful for most defenders, and his tenacity for goals makes him standout among his peers. Now at Southampton, Mane has found the back of the net three times in 11 appearances. He is a member of the Teranga Lions squad that failed to go past the group stage at the Orange AFCON 2015, he has scored two goals in the qualifiers for next edition, AFCON 2017 in Gabon.
Name: Serge Aurier
Date of Birth: 24 December 1992
Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Club: Paris Saint-Germain (France)
The 22-year-old right back has been a revelation this year for club and country. He has cemented a place in the defensive set up of the star-studded Paris Saint Germain squad already. He has accumulated over 800 minutes of playing time for the French giants this term. He played an integral rolein the success of Ivory Coast as they won the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time in their history in Equatorial Guinea.
Name: Sofiane Feghouli
Date of Birth: 26 December 1989
Club: Valencia (Spain)
The big man, Feghouli has carved a niche as one of the most creative midfielders in the history of Algerian football. He commenced the year with ‘Les Fennecs’ at the Orange AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea, where their favourites tag came crushing at the quarters, losing to eventual winners Ivory Coast. The 25-year old is a prominent figure in the Valencia set-up in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
Date of Birth: 8 February 1990
Club: Porto (Portugal)
The soft-spoken midfielder is the playmaker for Portuguese side, Porto and the Algerian national team as well. His assets are his pace, skills and decisive passes. Brahimi has been involved heavily for both country and club this year. He had a quiet tournament as ‘Les Fennecs’ failed to go past the knockout stage at the Orange AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea. With Porto, he has featured regularly in both the Portuguese Primeira Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
Name: Yaya Toure
Date of Birth: 13 May 1983
Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Club: Manchester City
Having been named the African Player of the Year for the past four years, Toure finally realized his dream of lifting the Africa Cup of Nations trophy with Ivory Coast in Equatorial Guinea earlier in the year when they defeated Ghana on penalties. He scored twice as the Elephants cruised to their second continental title. With Manchester City, he has been phenomenal for English side, with two goals so far as they sit atop of the standings after 11 matches.