The Confederation ofÂ African FootballÂ hasÂ Â unveiled its final five-man shortlist for the 2016 African Player of the Year award.
Borussia Dortmund’s GaboneseÂ Â forward Pierre-EmerickÂ Aubameyang, whoÂ won the gongÂ for 2015, was shortlisted for theÂ Â prestigious award alongside Leicester City’s AlgerianÂ attacking duo Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani, as well as Liverpool’s Senegalese attacker Sadio Mane and Roma’s Egyptian defenderÂ Mohamed Salah. The winnerÂ of the award sponsored by telecommunicationsÂ giants Globacom willÂ be announcedÂ duringÂ Â the Glo/CAFÂ awards ceremonyÂ in Abuja on January 5, 2017.
Nigeria trioÂ Mikel Obi,Â Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed MusaÂ Â wereÂ among the 30 players nominatedÂ Â for theÂ award byÂ CAF in October, but theÂ African football’s governing body on Tuesday dropped them along with 22 others.
Aubameyang, 27, who isÂ this season’s joint top-scorer withÂ Cologne’s Anthony ModesteÂ in the German Bundesliga,Â faces stiff competition from PremierÂ League winnerÂ and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Mahrez, 25, for this year’s award.
Slimani, whoÂ joined the Foxes from Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon on a Â£29.8m summer transfer window deal, has been impressive for his new employers and his country this year.
The 28-year-old, who isÂ Algeria’s fifth highest all-time goalscorer, missed Tuesday’sÂ Champions League clash against Club Brugge due to a groinÂ problem.
Mane has been a revelationÂ since arriving at AnfieldÂ Â from Southampton this summerÂ for around Â£30m.
The jet-heeled forward has Â scored 15 goals in all competitions as well as providing nine assists for his teammates.
Chelsea flopÂ SalahÂ has rejuvenated his career at Roma, andÂ the 24-year-oldÂ has netted eight Serie A goals this term.
In the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) category, Denis Onyango, Hlompho Kekana, Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat from the 2016 Champions League-winning team Mamelodi Sundowns, as well asÂ TP Mazembe’s Zambia captainÂ Rainford Kalaba made the list .
According to CAF, the winners will be decided by votes from the head coaches and technical directors of the national associations affiliated to the body.