Former Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are among 10 stars shortlisted for the 2022 African Player of the Year award, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Monday.
After the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, the name of the 2022 winner will be announced on 21 July at a ceremony in Rabat.
Mohamed Salah previously won the award in 2017 and 2018, while Mané was honoured in 2019. The 30-year-old Senegalese, who left Liverpool for Bayern Munich last month, is a favourite for the 2022 award.
He was a key figure at the Africa Cup of Nations, leading Senegal to a historic first-ever win over Salah’s Egypt in the final. He also helped his country qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, again beating the Pharaohs.
With the Reds, the Senegalese and the Egyptian won the English Cup, the League Cup and played in the Champions League final, which they lost to Real Madrid.
Other contenders for the 2022 African Player of the Year award include Riyad Mahrez, the Algerian captain and Manchester City winger who won the award in 2016. Senegal and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will attempt to become the first goalkeeper to lift the trophy since Morocco’s Ezzaki Badou in 1986.
The African Player of the Year is chosen by the captains and coaches of the African national teams, members of the CAF technical committee and some media.
The remaining eight players nominated for the African Player of the Year award are:
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria, Manchester City/ENG)
Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon, Lyon/FRA)
Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon, Al Nassr/KSA)
Sébastien Haller (Ivory Coast, Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Naby Keita (Guinea, Liverpool/EGY)
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco, Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
Edouard Mendy (Senegal, Chelsea/ENG)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal, Napoli/ITA)