The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the 11 African players who make up the CAF Team of the Year for 2016, based on the prowess of these individuals in their respective positions over the course of the past year.
The selection is a mix of the best players based in Europe and Africa, with the entire midfield made up of players who ply their trade on the African continent.
Zimbabwe’s Khama Billiat and South African Keagan Dolly of Mamelodi Sundowns partner Zambian Rainford Kalaba of TP Mazembe in a solid three-man midfield that is blessed with skill and pace.
Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango is the man between the posts, after a stunning season for South African club Sundowns and the Uganda national team led him to win the CAF Champions League while qualifying the Cranes for the upcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
In defence Cote D’Ivoire national teammates Serge Aurier of Paris Saint-Germaine and Eric Bailly of Manchester United hold the line alongside AS Vita defender Joyce Lomalisa and Tunisian Aymen Abdennour of Valencia.
The attack is as star-studded as they come, with the three nominees for the 2016 African Player of the Year award trusted with the attacking duties.
Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund, Leicester City’s Algerian Riyad Mahrez and Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane ensure that a quality attacking line is present in this CAF XI.
Later tonight the winner of the 2016 African Player of the Year award will be announced at a gala event in Nigeria.
Goalkeeper: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), Aymen Abdennour (Valencia), Eric Bailly (Manchester United), Joyce Lomalisa (AS Vita).
Midfielders: Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe), Keagan Dolly (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Sadio Mane (Liverpool) , Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).