Five Africans who deserved the World Player of the Year award - ROUND GIST

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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Five Africans who deserved the World Player of the Year award

With the exception of former Monaco, PSG, Chelsea, AC Milan, Manchester City, Marsielle and Al Jazira striker George Weah, there is a feeling that other Africans could have taken home the prestigious World Player of the Year (formerly known as Balon D’or and now called FIFA’s The Best). Here are four Africans who in recent years deserved to have won the Ballon D’or award or the FIFA World Player of the Year award:

Drogba has won the African Footballer of the Year award on two occasions – in 2006 and 2009 – and led the Elephants to their first Fifa World Cup in 2006. Between 2006 and 2010, he could lay claim to be the best striker in the world but despite his continental wins, he was never considered for the Ballon D’or.

The Cameroonian came mightly close in 2005 when he came third in the FIFA World Player of the awards. He is the most decorated African player of all time, having won the African Player of the Year award a record four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010. In 2015, he received the Golden Foot Award for his achievements in football. One of the best strikers ever.
Eto’o, during his time at FC Barcelona.

Many critics claim that if Yay Toure were not African he could have been given more recognition. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He could have been named the best player in the world in 2012 when he was totally dominate but a certain Lionel Messi won the award.

Kanu Nwankwo led the U-23 national team to win the continent’s first gold medal in the Summer Olympic men’s football tournament in 1996 in Atlanta, USA. He won the African Footballer of the Year award twice in 1996 and 1999 but never claimed the Africa Cup of Nations title with the Super Eagles. Could have won the award in 1996 given his achievements with Nigeria and Ajax but a certain Germany legend called Mathias Sammer.

5. Mohammad Salah
Salah started his senior career with hometown club El Mokawloon in the Egyptian Premier League in 2010, departing shortly thereafter to join Basel for an undisclosed fee. In Switzerland, he starred as he won the league title in his debut season, winning the SAFP Golden Player Award in the process. Salah adapted his game from a natural winger to a complete forward and quickly became the focal point of the team. He would go on to break the club’s scoring record for a debut season, receiving the Premier League Golden Boot after registering a record 32 goals in 36 league games. He also became the first player to win three Premier League Player of the Month awards in the same season. His record-breaking performances saw him receive a number of other accolades at the end of the season. At international level, Salah represented Egypt at youth level, winning a bronze medal in the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, and participated in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was awarded the CAF Most Promising African Talent of the Year in 2012. Making his debut with the senior national team in 2011, he helped Egypt reach the final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, and he became the top scorer during CAF qualification to help the team qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For his performances, Salah was named CAF African Footballer of the Year and the BBC African Footballer of the Year.He was also selected in the CAF Team of the Year and Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament.

Which of these legends do you think should have won the Ballon D’or?

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