When the legends of the round leather game, coaches, journalists & fans gather in an event to honour the very best footballer from Africa, who will be crowned African best for 2019, Mohammed Salah, Aubameyang, Mane, Ndidi, Ziyech?
Host Nation, Egypt are out of the 2019 Nations Cup, exiting at the round of 16 stage.
The weight of Egypt & hopes of millions of Egyptians was on MOHAMMED SALAH.
It has been said that the Nations Cup in Egypt would be the tournament that perhaps settles the African best debate for the year 2019.
Now that Egypt and Mohammed Salah has been sent packing, how does it affect his chances of retaining his award?
One man that benefits the most from Salah’s exit from the Nations Cup is Sadio Mane.
The reasons are not far fetched, they both play for Liverpool at club level, meaning that at the end of the season, they won the same thing- the Champions League which perhaps would have easily given either the African best award.
In the League, Mane & Salah could hardly be separated with both scoring 22 times for Liverpool and sharing the top scorer award.
Mane and Salah both scored Four goals in Champions League for Liverpool.
Salah may have provided more assists than Mane in the 2018/2019 Premier League campaign, it was not enough for the Egyptian to make the PFA team of the year whilst Sadio Mane did.
Its hard to argue against the decision of an association of Professional footballers right?
Sadio Mane would be playing against Benin in the Quarter finals of the Nations cup and has a chance to help Senegal win the African cup of Nations while Salah can’t contribute again.
Mane’s hopes in Mane’s hands.
The further more Senegal progresses in the AFCON, the brighter the Senegalese forward’s chances.
Mane has already outscored Salah in the Nations Cup and progressed beyond his counterpart, that surely counts for something right?
Coach Javier Aguirre claimed Mohamed Salah is a certainty to win the Ballon d’Or if Egypt triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“If he can lead Egypt to the African Cup of Nations, no one can keep the Ballon d’Or away from him”- Aguirre said.
The ballon d’or may even be a far reach for Salah when its not certain that he would be named African best for the third straight year.
FOURTH TIME LUCKY FOR MANE?
Sadio Mane has finished 2nd twice in the last two years (2017 & 2018) behind Mohammed Salah.
Mane finished third in 2016, behind Aubameyang and Mahrez.
2019 stands as perhaps Mane’s best chance to stand tall and above every other contender for the African best award. Salah has kissed the ‘African best award’ goodbye?