The CAF Players of the Year award will be handed to the deserving winner today, January 8, in a Gala in Dakar, Senegal, and Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are those in the battle for the men’s crown.
Liverpool duo of Salah and Mane and Arsenal forward, Aubameyang, made the top three -after a long list was pruned -for the most prestigious individual accolade in African football.
The three made the final shortlist last year when Egypt’s Salah took the crown for the first time.
Gabonese icon Aubameyang, maintains his familiar status amongst the top three finalists since 2014, thus five times in a row and equalling the record of Ivorian legend and four-time Player of the Year, Yaya Toure (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and Ghanaian midfield supremo Michael Essien (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
The 29-year old will be hoping to lay his hands on the enviable crown a second time, having won it only in 2015.
26-year-old Salah made history becoming the first Egyptian to win the title since the inception of the awards scheme in 1992.
It is the second time, he has made the final three and Salah has his eyes set on joining the elite league of players to win the honour back-to-back. Senegalese El Hadji Diouf (2001, 2002), Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon (2003, 2004) and Toure (2011, 2012) are the only three to win successive titles.
For 26-year-old Mane, this is his third time making the final three. He came third in 2016 and second in 2017.
He will be hoping to be third time lucky and become the second Senegalese to win the topmost individual honour after Diouf.
In the women category, Super Falcons star Asisat Oshoala will be hoping to equal the four titles record of her compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha. However, she faces stiff challenges from compatriot Francisa Ordega and South African Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana.
Other awards are Men’s national team of the year, Women’s national team of the year Youth player of the year, Women’s coach of the year, Men’s coach of the year.
The award ceremony will kick off by 8:00p.m Nigeria time.
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