Ballon d’Or nominations include Mane, Salah, Mahrez, Haller & Oshoala
Following their inclusion on Friday’s shortlist, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Sebastien Haller, and Asisat Oshoala are Africa’s five nominees for France football’s annual award nominations — Ballon d’Or and Ballon d’Or Féminin 2022.
The awards ceremony for this year’s ballon d’or will be held on October 17 as announced on Twitter by the awards official page.
Since its establishment in 1956 only one African has won the award. George Weah of Liberia remains the only African to have taken home the famous honour, which he did in 1995 while playing for AC Milan.
Profiles of African Nominees
Mane scored 23 goals for Liverpool last season as they won the FA and Carabao Cups, advanced to the Champions League final, and finished just one point short of winning the Premier League.
The Bayern Munich forward also contributed to Senegal’s first-ever Africa Cup of Nations victory, scoring three goals and dishing out two assists, including the crucial penalty kick that gave the Teranga Lions the victory over Egypt.
He was crucial in helping Senegal beat Egypt to a spot in the 2022 Fifa World Cup, taking his spot as the African Player of the Year 2022.
Three years ago, he came in fourth in the Ballon D’Or finals behind the winner Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Virgil van Dijk.
Salah nomination for the Ballon d’Or this year represents his fourth time after placing sixth in 2018, fifth in 2019, and seventh in 2016.
Given his performance in the Premier League last season, which earned him the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award, the Egyptian attacker also has a chance to win the Ballon d’Or.
In addition to helping Liverpool win the FA and Carabao Cups and advance to the Champions League final, Salah led all scorers with 31 goals (23 in the league) and 15 assists, earning him the Premier League Golden Boot Award.
The Teranga Lions’ failure to qualify for the World Cup and his failure to guide Egypt to victory after they lost to Senegal in the 2021 Afcon final are the only drawbacks to his 2021–22 season.
Mahrez produced game-changing goals in crucial matches for the Manchester City, who advanced to the FA Cup and Champions League semifinals.
With 24 goals and nine assists, the Algerian winger led City in goals last season as Pep Guardiola’s team defended their Premier League championship with a slim slide over Liverpool.
Despite having a strong club season, he has limited chance of winning because he was a member of the Algerian team that had a dismal title defence at the Afcon tournament when they were ousted in the group stage in Cameroon.
Mahrez has previously had three Ballon d’Or nominations.
With 34 goals and seven assists across all competitions, Haller was Ajax top scorer. He also took home the Eredivisie Golden Boot Award for his 21 league goals as his team won back-to-back championships.
Haller, who is currently playing for Borussia Dortmund, struggled with his national team as the Ivory Coast were eliminated from the AFCON in the Round of 16 by eventual champion Egypt.
The Nigerian striker, who is the only player from Africa to be nominated in the Ballon D’Or women’s division had a successful season with Barcelona, scoring 20 goals to take home the Pichichi medal despite missing two months of play due to a thigh injury.
Oshoala played for a Barcelona team that won the league, the Super Cup, and the Copa de la Reina, but was unable to defend their Champions League championship after losing to Lyon by a score of 3-1.
However, the fact that the Super Falcons finished fourth in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and the striker only played one game due to an injury sustained in their tournament opener hurts her prospects of winning the Ballon d’Or.
See full list of Ballon D’Or nominees after read also
READ ALSO: Sadio Mane, Asisat Oshoala win African Player of the Year Awards
Full list of nominees
Ballon d’Or (Men)
- Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
- Rafael Leão (AC Milan)
- Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
- Mohammed Salah (Liverpool FC)
- Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool FC)
- Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid)
- Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
- Luis Díaz (Liverpool FC)
- Robert Lewandowski (for his achievements at FC Bayern)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
- Casemiro (Real Madrid)
- Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Fabinho (Liverpool FC)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Darwin Núñez (Liverpool FC)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City)
- Sadio Mané (FC Bayern)
- Sébastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund)
- Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
- Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Dušan Vlahović (Juventus)
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool FC)
- João Cancelo (Manchester City)
- Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-German)
- Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Ballon d’Or (Women)
- Selma Bacha (Olympique Lyon)
- Fridolina Rolfö (FC Barcelona)
- Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)
- Lucy Bronze (FC Barcelona)
- Sam Kerr (Chelsea FC)
- Christiane Endler (Olympique Lyon)
- Lena Oberdorf (VfL Wolfsburg)
- Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-German)
- Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon)
- Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona)
- Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg)
- Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona)
- Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon)
- Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC)
- Beth Mead (Arsenal)
- Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona)
- Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-German)
- Millie Bright (Chelsea FC)
- Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)
- Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyon)
READ ALSO: CAF Awards 2022: Full List of Winners
Abeeb Lekan Sodiq is a Managing Editor & Writer at theafricandream.net. He is as well a Graphics Designer and also known as Arakunrin Lekan.