Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho, John Obi Mikel, and Ahmed Musa are among the 30 players shortlisted by the Confederation of African Football for the 2016 African Player of the Year, with reigning Africa’s best player, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also making the cut.
Iheanacho, who is nominated for the first time, has had an impressive 2016 with Manchester City, scoring eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances in his debut season.
Chelsea’s Mikel captained the country’s U23 side to a bronze medal finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Musa’s exploits with CSKA Moscow was enough to earn him a place on the shortlist.
For Aubameyang, he scored 25 Bundesliga goals last season to help Borussia Dortmund to a second-placed finish in the Bundesliga, and the DFB-Pokal final.
The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony in Abuja on January 5, 2017.
The full list
1. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
2. El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb)
3. Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)
4. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor)
5. Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient)
6. Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG)
7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)
8. Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune)
9. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)
10. Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal)
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)
12. Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham)
13. Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham)
14. William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)
15. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)
16. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
17. John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea)
18. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)
19. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City)
20. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)
21. Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton)
22. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
23. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
24. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
25. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)
26. Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)
27. Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia)
28. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland)
29. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
30. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)