Salah chases hat trick of African best player awards

The Liverpool star was named on a three-man candidate list for the 2023 prize with Achraf Hakimi and Victor Osimhen


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Published: Fri 8 Dec 2023, 5:51 PM

Mohamed Salah will aim for a hat trick of African player of the year awards after being named on a three-man candidate list for the 2023 prize with Achraf Hakimi and Victor Osimhen on Thursday.

There was no space for two past award winners, Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez, who moved this year to play for clubs in Saudi Arabia.

For the women’s award, record five-time winner Asisat Oshoala is competing with Thembi Kgatlana and Barbra Banda.

The Confederation of African Football announced the candidates ahead of its annual award ceremony to be held on Monday in Marrakech, Morocco.

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Victor Osimhen. - AP
Victor Osimhen. - AP

Voting is by the African soccer body’s technical committee, media, captains and coaches of national teams, plus clubs who took part in continental competitions, CAF said.

Egypt star Salah won back-to-back African honors for 2017 and ’18 before his then-Liverpool teammate Mané won the next two editions awarded for 2019 and 2022. Salah was runner-up last year.

Paris Saint-Germain right back Hakimi was a standout in the Morocco team that reached the 2022 World Cup semifinals.

Nigerian forward Osimhen’s league-leading 26 goals for Napoli last season lifted the club to its first Serie A title for 33 years.

Achraf Hakimi. - AP
Achraf Hakimi. - AP

While Mané had a difficult first season at Bayern Munich and missed the World Cup with Senegal because of injury, Mahrez was in a Manchester City squad that won a treble of Champions League, English Premier League and FA Cup titles.

Mahrez was African player of the year in 2016 when he helped Leicester win a stunning English league title.

Oshoalawon her fifth African women’s player of the year award in 2022 and then helped her club Barcelona win the Women’s Champions League before going to the Women’s World Cup with Nigeria.

Kgatlana, who plays for Racing Louisville in the United States, was a South Africa standout at the World Cup and Banda captained Zambia at the tournament played in Australia and New Zealand.


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