Ballon d'Or: Four African Players Make 30 Man Shortlist for Top Award

Ballon d'Or: Four African Players Make 30 Man Shortlist for Top Award

  • The 2022 Ballon d'Or list for the best player of the year has been released by French football as top stars compete for the top award
  • Four African players including CAF Player of the Year Sadio Mane have been named in a 30-man shortlist
  • Current holder of the award Lionel Messi and PSG teammate Neymar Jr were not included in the list

Four African football stars have made the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d'Or Award.

African Player of the Year Sadio Mane is joined by former teammate at Liverpool, Mohamed Salah, Dortmund's Sebastien Haller and Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City on the list.

The list released on Friday also includes five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo while holder Lionel Messi misses alongside Paris Saint Germain teammate Neymar Jr.

Sadio Mane, Sebastien Haller, Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez, Ballon d'OR
African football stars led by Mane have been nominated for Ballon d'Or award. Credit: @FCBayern @LFC @AFCAjax @ManCity
Source: Twitter

Kylian Mbappe of PSG, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City as well as favourite Karim Benzema have all made the shortlist.

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The winner of the award will be announced later this year in France.

Sadio Mane

Mane is one of the players tipped to make the final shortlist after helping Liverpool to two domestic trophies last season. He played a pivotal role en-route to Liverpool reaching the UEFA Champions League final, only to lose to Benzema's Real Madrid.

Internationally, Mane led Senegal to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations success in January and scored the winner as the Teranga Lions qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Mohamed Salah

Salah had a mixed year, winning the Premier League golden boot and a domestic double but suffered defeats in the UEFA Champions League and Africa Cup of Nations finals. Salah will miss the World Cup in Qatar this year.

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However, his outstanding season saw him win the PFA Player of the Year, having finished joint top scorer with Son Heung-Min and was also on top of the assist table.

Sebastien Haller

The Ivorian attacker had one of his most prolific campaign in Europe, after helping Ajax to the Dutch league. Haller scored 11 goals in the UEFA Champions League and 21 in the Dutch Eredivisie.

At the Africa Cup of Nations, Haller's Ivory Coast were eliminated at the round of 16 by Egypt.

Riyad Mahrez

He was outstanding as Manchester City won the English Premier League. Mahrez scored 11 goals in the Premier League and provided five assists. He also netted five goals in the UEFA Champions League as City reached the semi finals.

However, it was a disastrous Africa Cup of Nations for the Algerian as the Desert Foxes got eliminated at the group stage.

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Mohamed Salah wins PFA Player of the Year award

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been crowned the Men’s Professional Footballers Association [PFA] Players’ Player of the Year award for 2021/2022 season.

The Egyptian king won the award ahead of teammate Sadio Mane, as well as Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Salah won the Premier League Golden Boot with 23 goals, sharing the accolade with Son Heung-min. He also made 13 assists.

Source: Sports Brief News