BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Nigeria’s speedy striker, Ahmed Musa who was in the initial list of 34 players jostling for the African Footballer of the Year 2018 Award, did not make it to the final phase as CAF on Friday released the latest shortlist of 10.
However, his compatriot, Alex Iwobi headlines the final list of 10. The heavyweight list has two past winners – Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is also a team-mate of Iwobi at Arsenal.
Other stars that Iwobi, a nephew of the legendary Austin Okocha, will have to contend with include Senegal’s Sadio Mane, finalist last year and a team-mate of Salah at Liverpool.
Also in the race are Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax), Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance), Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns) and Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus).
The others are: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City) and Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly).
According to a media release by CAF, the short listed nominees were decided by votes from the members of the CAF Technical & Development Committee.
The final phase will involve votes from CAF Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, and Coaches & Captains of the 54 Member Associations.
The Awards Gala, to honour footballers and officials who distinguished themselves during the year under review, will be held on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.
SHORTLIST FOR AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR 2018
1. Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)
2. Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)
3. Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
4. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
5. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)
6. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)
8. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
9. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
10. Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly)