Choosing the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year is usually more contentious than the Ballon d’Or or the FIFA best of the year.
It is October – November when football stars, country associations and clubs are all awaiting the list of nominees for the African player of the year. For African players, this is the greatest achievement as their chances of winning other continental awards are slim.
However, some players are sure to be on the list and also have a better chance of being shortlisted to the final five players from which the three best would be selected.
The first prediction about the possible winner of this year’s award was done by Nwankwo Kanu, a former Super Eagles star and African Player of the Year in 1996 and 1999. He stated that Victor Moses of Nigeria is best positioned to be the 2017 CAF Player of the Year.
For us, these are the five African football players who are better placed to win the continental award this year.
1. Victor Moses (Chelsea) – Nigeria
Victor Moses currently plays for Chelsea FC in the English Premier League. In 2016/2017 season, he won the English Premier League trophy with the London team, playing a key role throughout the season.
He is also a main force in the Super Eagles team. Former Super Eagles forward.
Nkankwo Kanu said about the player’s chance to win the award, “Moses was able to prove critics wrong. Despite their negative predictions, Moses was fantastic this season. He also had better chances to prove himself compared to other players in Chelsea.”
2. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Senegal
Sadio Mane also plays in the English Premier League for Liverpool Football Club. He is also a strong forward for the Senegalese national team and a great tormentor for the opponent”s defence.
According to Nkwanko Kanu, “the most dangerous competitors for Moses will be Sadio Mane and Aubamayang.”
“These two football players also showed brilliance in their respective teams. Therefore, Moses will get quite the challenge when he decides to fight for CAF African player of the year.”
3. Mohamed Salah (Roma) – Egypt
Mohammed Salah is the top scorer for Serie A team, FC Roma. The 2016/2017 season was rated the best for the Egyptian striker after a poor stint at Chelsea.
He is also stated to be better positioned to get the award this year.
4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) – Gabon
Aubameyang is another player considered favourite for the 2016/2017 Player of the Year award. He has enjoyed an influential scoring streak for both club and country.
His performance last season was superb and he has maintained similar form for the current season.
5. Ryad Boudebouz (Real Betis) – Algeria
Ryad Boudebouz plays for Real Betis in La Liga. Though the season is not that spectacular for him, he had good playing time and performance for the Spanish club.
He is rated one of the current best midfielders in Africa.