Ten African players have been shortlisted for the Marc Vivien Foe Award, which recognises the best player from the continent based on their performances in the French Ligue 1 over the season.
The ten players who have been nominated for the accolade include Vincent Enyeama, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Aymen Abdennour, Max Gradel, Nabil Dirar, Idrissa Gueye, Aissa Mandi, Benjamin Moukandjo and Clinton N’Jie.
Nigerian captain Enyeama won the award last season, and is in a good position to repeat the feat, following his excellent performances in goal for club side Lille. The Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, play for Marseille and Lorient respectively, and have been key to their teams in attack.
Tunisian Abdennour is a defender, with incredible displays for Monaco, helping his club to keep opponents at bay in the French top flight. Saint-Etienne striker Gradel is a striker who needs no introduction, and has once again done well for his side in attack.
Gradel’s Moroccan team-mate Dirar is also in with a shot of taking the award, as is Algerian Mandi from Reims, while Senegalese midfielder Gueye is another African talent on the Marc Vivien Foe Award list, representing Lille in France. Cameroonians Moukandjo and N’Jie round out the list, playing for Reims and Lyon respectively.
The award is named after the Cameroonian midfielder who tragically died on the pitch during a FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final for the Indomitable Lions in June 2003. The match was against Columbia, and the former Lens and Lyon player’s heart stopped while playing due to a hereditary condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The award is meant to honour Foe, by honouring the greatest African performers in the French Ligue 1. In previous years Ivorian talent Gervinho and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been recipients of this award.