The 2017 winner, Mohamed Salah, will face one more time his teammate from Liverpool, Sadio Mane, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, winner in 2015. The trio will know their faith tonight in Dakar in front of their peers and many guests from around the world.
Last year, Salah, 26 , became the first Egyptian player to win the CAF Best Player Award since the introduction of the event in 1992. The Liverpool striker hopes he could keep his title and join the list of the few players who won to awards in a row such as El Hadji Diouf from Senegal (2001, 2002), Samuel Eto’o from Cameroon (2003, 2004) and Yaya Toure from Ivory Coast (2011, 2012).
Sadio Mane thinks his time has come. The Senegalese player from Liverpool finished third in 2016, second in 2017. He could logically finish first time tonight
The third contender is the iconic Gabonese player Aubameyang. The 29-year-old Arsenal player would like to add a second trophy to his collection
For the Women’s Player of the Year Award, Nigeria and South Africa have high expectations.
Asisat Oshoala is hoping to score a fourth win after her first three victories in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Thanks to her talent, Nigeria kept its crown in Ghana last year during the women AFCON.
Nigeria has second chance to win the award with Francisca Ordega. The 25-year-old is a natural leader whose speed is well-known among her peers of the national team and in the United Stated where she plays with The Washington Spirit.
Finally, the South African striker, Kgatlana. The 22-year-old was named Best Player of the tournament during the women AFCON in Ghana. Her talent did not prevent the Banyana Banyana from losing at the final. Kgatlanat dreams of becoming the second South African player to receive the highest recognition after Noko Matlou in 2008.
Others will be recognized in Dakar on January 8th : Youth Player of the Year, Men’s Coach of the Year, Women’s Coach of the Year, Men’s National Team of the Year, Women’s National Team of the Year, Goal of the Year, Africa Finest XI, Ydnekatchew Tessema Trophy for the Federation President of the Year and Platinum Award.