The final African best player for the last decade (2010 – 2019) will be decided tonight in Egypt’s Hurghada at the annual Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards.
All winners in the different categories will represent a special group, the final awardees for the decade. As usual, all eyes are on the African Footballer of the Year award.
The CAF shortlist released in December 2019 revealed the top three contenders in the category as: Liverpool pair Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt), plus Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City (Algeria).
List of African best players 2010 – 2019
2010 – Eto’o CAM / Inter
2011 – 2014 – Yaya Toure CIV / Man City
2015 – Aubameyang GAB / Dortmund
2016 – Mahrez ALG / Leicester
2017 – 2018 – EGY / Liverpool
2019 – Mane, Salah, Mahrez – Who wins?
Senegal talisman Mane has been tagged as favourite for the award which will be his first after making the shortlist for three times in a row. Salah had won the award in the two previous years – 2018 and 2019. Mahrez on the other hand won the ward in 2016 after helping Leicester City to the Premier League title.
Talk of Mane’s victory has heightened given that he is the only candidate currently in Egypt. Teammate Salah with whom they powered Liverpool to the Champions League did not make the trip.
The other candidate, Mahrez, who won the 2018/2019 Premier League with City and also captained Algeria to the Africa Cup of Nations title in mid-year, is also not attending according to reports.
How nominees are picked, voting process
The nominees were selected by a panel of technical experts from the Confederation of African Football plus former players and media.
The coaches and captains of the 54 African national teams will now vote for the winner, to be announced on Jan. 7 at a ceremony at Hurgada in Egypt.
The award winners for each category will be announced during the CAF Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 7 January 2020, at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt.
Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout, Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana are the top contenders in the women’s player of the year category.
Football loving fans across the continent can vote for the Goal of the Year at the CAF website, choosing from a spectacular list that includes Amanda Mthandi’s goal for South Africa against Zimbabwe in the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship.
Other contenders for best goal include Mahrez’ stunning freekick against Nigeria at AFCON.