Salah, Aubameyang, Mane top African nominee list for 2019 Ballon d’Or
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have made the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
Besides the duo, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, and Senegalese duo of Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane have also made the cut.
All these five African players were instrumental for their respective clubs and countries over the past year.
But they will face competition from the usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, plus a host of other stars such as Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Aguero, Roberto Firmino, Virgil Van Dirk and Kevin de Bruyne.
Salah and Mane won the Champions League and the Uefa Super Cup last season with Liverpool who were runners-up in the Premier League.
Mane and Koulibaly were part of the Senegal national team that finished second at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Koulibaly also helped Italian club Napoli finish as runners up in Italy.
Mahrez won the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria and domestic treble with Manchester City.
Aubamayang on his part helped Arsenal reach the final of the Europa League and shared the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2018/2019 season with Salah and Mane.
Ballon d’Or is awarded to a footballer who is perceived to have been the best performer over the year.
The winner of the Ballon d’Or will be announced at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on December 2.