African Footballer of the Year: Babaginda dumps Ighalo, Ndidi for Mane

Despite Odion Ighalo, Wilfred Ndidi and Victor Osimhen being listed for the 2019 CAF Player of the Year, former Super Eagles star Tijjani Babangida said his vote is for Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane to be crowned the best player in Africa next month.

Former Ajax Amsterdam winger Babangida said Mane has been stellar for both club and country in the outgoing year and it will take something really special to deny him the prestigious individual accolade this time.

“All the nominees did well, but Mane (Saido) is ahead of them all. He scored lots of goals for Liverpool and helped Senegal reach Nations Cup final,” declared Babangida, who is also Nigeria’s players union chief.

“But other nominees could still be in with a chance to win it because the national team coaches and captains will decide who wins by voting, so let’s wait and see.”

Saido Mane was Premier League joint top scorer with Mohammed Salah with 22 goals, he already scored eight goals this season, while Salah has scored six goals.

Ighalo was the AFCON 2019 highest goal scorer and scored 10 goals this season in the just-ended Chinese Super League.

Wilfred Ndidi has been a consistent top performer for both Leicester City and Nigeria, while Victor Osimhen has been prolific in 2019 for Sporting Charleroi in Belgium and French Ligue 1 club Lille.

The awards ceremony will be staged in January in Egypt.

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