CAF 2016 African Player Of The Year Shortlist Unveiled
The shortlist of 30 players that will be considered for the 2016 African Player of the Year award has been unveiled by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ahead of the winner’s announcement in the new year.
The majority of those announced ply their trade in Europe, while some based on the African continent have also been included in the list.
Current African Player of the Year from Gabon, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on the shortlist, and will be among the top candidates being considered, alongside the likes of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, and fellow Algerian Islam Slimani.
Striker Slimani represented Sporting Lisbon in Portugal last season, before transferring to English Premier League champions Leicester City in the recent market window.
Three Nigerians have been included in the list, with John Obi Mikel of Chelsea, Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa of Leicester City receiving the nod.
Two South Africans, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs and youngster Keegan Dolly from Mamelodi Sundowns, have also been added to the shortlist.
Cote D’Ivoire can celebrate the inclusion of Gervinho, Eric Bailly and Serge Aurier to the CAF list for the current Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holders.
Four-time African Player of the Year Yaya Toure has missed out on the list this year following a fall-out between the midfielder and Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola regarding a feud between the Spaniard and the Ivorian’s agent.
The shortlist will be cut down to a final few in the coming months, before voting will decide the winner of the accolade, which will be announced on Thursday, January 5 at the Glo-CAF 2016 Awards Gala in Abuja, Nigeria.
The CAF 2016 African Player of the Year shortlist
Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City)
Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham)
Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia)
Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient)
Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)
Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb)
Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)
Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)
Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)
John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)
Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)
Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)
Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor)
Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG)
Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham)
Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland)
William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)
Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton)
Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune)