Mahrez favourite for African award
THE out-of-favour Manchester City midfielder will not win a record fifth African Footballer of the Year award in 2016, but several other Premier League stars are in the running
Riyad Mahrez and Eric Bailly are among several Premier League stars in the running for the African Player of the Year award, but four-time winner Yaya Toure has not been shortlisted.
Andre Ayew, Islam Slimani, Mohamed Elneny, Victor Wanyama, John Obi Mikel, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa, Yannick Bolasie, Sadio Mane and Wahbi Khazri are also up for the gong from English clubs.
Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang won the accolade, conferred by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for 2015 after a scorching start to the previous season for the Bundesliga club.
The Gabon international beat off competition from Ayew and Toure, who made headlines with his bitter reaction.
Toure had captained Ivory Coast to victory in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and, upon being overlooked, branded the decision to honour Aubameyang as “pathetic”.
Having been frozen out at Manchester City since the arrival of Pep Guardiola, the 33-year-old has not made the 30-man shortlist for the next edition of the continental award, denying him the chance of winning for a record fifth time.
Samuel Eto’o has been included and will be aiming to achieve that feat himself, while other notable names include Serge Aurier, Gervinho, Medhi Benatia and Kalidou Koulibaly. — Goal.com
A boy goes against the grain at a soccer practice in Argentina by wearing a Cristiano Ronaldo jersey while his teammates donned that of local hero Lionel Messi. — AFP