The five nominees for the 2017 BBC African Footballer of the Year award have been revealed.
Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who won the Golden Boot in the Bundelisga last season, has been nominated once again, and he will be looking to win the award for the first time in his career.
Not once in the long history of the Bundesliga had an African ever topped the league’s scoring charts outright until Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit 31 goals in 2016-17.
Aubameyang finished behind Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez last year.
Other players to make the shortlist were Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Chelsea’s Victor Moses and RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita.
Nigeria’s Victor Moses, whose inspiring performance helped Chelsea to a stunning premie league title win, will be looking to win the coveted BBC award.
Since Austin Jay-Jay Okocha won the award consecutively in 2003-04; no Nigerian has won the award.
Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane performed so well in 2017 he was not only voted by his fellow professionals onto the PFA team of the year but he was also one of just two Africans to make the Ballon d’Or shortlist.
He also shone as Senegal reached their first World Cup since 2002. A clinical victory over South Africa at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane sealed their place in Russia, with Mane key to the Teranga Lions’ victory with both assists in a 2-0 win.
Riyad Mahrez won the award last year after helping the Foxes to Premier League glory in 2016, but he was nominated this year.
The winner for the award will be revealed on Monday, 11 December 2017.
Naby Keita may have started the 2016-17 season as an unknown but he ended it with his name in the Bundesliga’s team of the year – a public poll in which the 22-year-old received the most votes of any midfielder.
RB Leipzig were certainly the surprise package of last season – the Bundesliga debutants finishing in second place – but their Guinean midfielder ran them close.
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