Dakar, Monday PeopleSports11
Reigning African Player of the Year Mohamed Salah of Egypt is tipped to retain his crown when Confederation of African Football (CAF) holds its annual Awards Gala in Dakar, Senegal tonight.
Salah, alongside his Liverpool club-mate Sadio Mane and 2015 winner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of arsenal and Gabon made the top three for the most prestigious individual accolade in African football in December and in what will be a repeat of last year, the three players will be hoping to begin the year with the crown of African Player of the Year today.
Salah, 26, made history by becoming the first Egyptian to be decorated Player of the Year 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 Yaya Toure (2011, 2012) are the only three to win successive titles.
Salah is the man leading Liverpool’s intriguing title chase in the Premier League, having scored 14 goals to lead the Goldn boot chase alongside Aubameyang who equally has netted 14.
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, 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.
It is a hat-trick for 26-year old Mane in the top three, coming 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. -CAF