BBC is known to make each year a list with the best African football players for the public to choose from. The African continent has given a lot of talented and hard working footballers who had the chance to move to a European country to pursue their dreams. It’s our duty to shed light on their success and that’s exactly what we are going to do by talking about the BBC’s shortlist for the 2016 African Footballer of the Year. Apart from the names that everybody expects to see on the list, there also are quite a few that surprised everyone. Let’s see the African footballers that fans can vote for.
Sadio Mane, born in Senegal, currently plays for Liverpool and scored 6 goals in 11 games since he was transferred here from Southampton. His career began at the Metz in France and was then moved to Red Bull Salzburg in 2012. Mane won the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup in 2014, which caught the attention of Southampton. He holds the record for the fastest hat-trick in the Premier League by scoring 3 times in 176 seconds against Aston Villa.
A surprising name that’s on the list is Yaya Toure. He didn’t play much for Manchester City in the last year but this didn’t prevent the midfielder from making the shortlist. Toure has already won the African Footballer of the Year award 4 times.
Another player that everybody expected to see on the list is Riyad Mahrez who currently plays at Leicester. In 2013, the player expressed his desire to represent Algeria in international games and was consequently called up to the provisional Algerian team in the 2014 FIFA World cup where he plays as a winger. It should be noted that Mahrez was not born in Algeria, but in the town of Sarcelles, France.
Also born in France but of Ghanaian origin, Andre Ayew made the list after playing this year at West Ham United. He scored 4 goals for the Ghana U20 national team and 11 goals for Ghana in international games since 2007. He was the top goal scorer in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another possible choice for fans. Born in Laval, France, Aubameyang is a Gabonese who currently plays at Borussia Dortmund in Germany. He scored 21 goals for the Gabonese national team since 2009, being the team captain at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. In 2011, he was named the BBC African Footballer of the Year and the Ghanaian Footballer of the Year. His career has actually started at the Ghanaian football club Nania when he was only 14 years old.
He started playing at Marseille since 2007. The club loaned him for 1 year to Lorient and for another year to Arles-Avignon. In 2015, Aubemeyang signed with Swansea City from where he made the jump to West Ham United and later on to Dortmund. During his short time at Dortmund, the Gabonese star scored 14 goals in 14 appearances. That’s a quite impressive performance.