5 January 2017
Ahead of Thursday’s Glo CAF awards, the continent’s football governing body, CAF has announced Africa’s Best Team of the Year 2016.
The final three nominees for the African Footballer of the Year award, Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Senegal’s Sadio Mane were all included in the team.
Manchester United and Cote D’Ivoire defender, Eric Bailly also made the team with his fellow countryman, Sergie Aurier, the controversial PSG defender.
The trio of Khama Billiat, Keagan Dolly and Denis Onyango who were key members of Mamelodi Sundowns’ 2016 CAF Champions League winning squad were also included.
No Nigerian made the African XI but Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City and Alex Iwobi of Arsenal were considered good enough as substitutes.
Also, listed as substitutes are Algeria and Leicester City’s Islam Slimani, Egypt and AS Roma’s Mohamed Salah and Kalidou Coulibaly of Senegal and Napoli.
CAF African XI of the Year:
Goalkeeper: Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Cote D’Ivoire & Paris Saint-Germain), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia & Valencia), Eric Bailly (Cote D’Ivoire & Manchester United), Joyce Lomalisa (Congo & AS Vita).
Midfielders: Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Keagan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns).
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City).
Substitutes: Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & ManCity), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal), Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City), Mohammed Salah (Egypt & AS Roma), Kalidou Coulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.