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BBC Africa

Nominees revealed for the 2018 BBC African Player of the Year

This year’s nominees are Medhi Benatia, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sadio Mane, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Salah.

Soccer Football - African Nations Cup Qualifier - Egypt v Tunisia - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - November 16, 2018   Egypt's Mohamed Salah before the match  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The nominees for the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year were announced on Saturday.

This year’s five-man shortlist, which has been compiled by a panel of African football experts, comprises Medhi Benata (Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Thomas Partey (Ghana) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt).

The vote opened on Saturday, 17 November, and closes on Sunday, 2 December, while the results will be revealed in the program BBC World News on Friday, 14 December.

Last year’s award was won by Liverpool and Egypt striker Salah, in a year that saw him lead his national squad to its first Fifa World Cup appearance since 1990.

Other previous winners include Nigeria’s Jay Jay Okocha, Ghana’s Michael Essien, Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré, and Algeria´s Riyad Mahrez.

The inaugural winner of the award was the Ghanaian Abedi Pele in 1992.

The contenders

The BBC made a list describing each of the nominees’ achievements during the last season.

Juventus centre-back Benatia, 31, won his fourth consecutive league title this year - two with Bayern Munich and two with Juve - and captained Morocco at this summer's World Cup.

Napoli defender Koulibaly, 27, played his part in his club's battle with Juve for the Serie A title, including the winner against the eventual champions in the run-in. He played all 270 minutes for Senegal in the World Cup.

Liverpool forward Mane, 26, also played in all of Senegal's World Cup games, captaining his country in two and scoring against Japan. He was the joint-second top scorer in last season's Champions League - with 10 goals for Liverpool, including one in the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the final.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey, 25, established himself as a first-team regular for Diego Simeone's side, including a late appearance as a substitute in the Europa League final win over Marseille. He scored in international friendlies for Ghana against Japan and Iceland.

Liverpool forward Salah, 26, won the Premier League Golden Boot with 32 goals in May and, like Mane, scored 10 Champions League strikes in their run to the final. He scored both of Egypt's World Cup goals - 40% of their all-time total at the tournament.


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