Ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, two African stars have been shortlisted in various categories of the FIFA Best Awards.
The two are; Egypt forward Mohamed Salah, who plies his trade with Liverpool in the English Premier League, and Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who plays for Chelsea in the same league.
The FIFA Best Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, January 17 in Zurich Switzerland that is just a week after the commencement of the AFCON.
Salah and Mendy are already with their respective national teams raring to go and will be key, not only for Egypt and Senegal respectively, but will be among the stars to watch at the AFCON tournament.
Salah joins last year’s winner Robert Lewandowski of Poland and Bayern Munich and 2021 Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi of Argentina and PSG on the final three-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2021.
The 29-year-old has been a consistent performer for Liverpool, and he is the current top scorer of the English Premier League with 16 goals.
Salah will be aiming at carrying such brilliance to his national team as they look for their first AFCON trophy since 2010.
On the other hand, Mendy is racing against Germany and Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Donnarumma of Italy and PSG in the best goalkeeper category.
Since signing for Chelsea at the start of last season from French side Rennes, Mendy has been spectacular in goal, winning the UEFA Champions League and Super Cup in his maiden season at Stamford Bridge.
At AFCON, Salah’s Egypt is in Group D and will kick off their campaign against Nigeria on Tuesday, whilst Mendy and his side Senegal will be in action against Zimbabwe on Monday in Group B.
FIFA Best Awards Nominees
Best FIFA Men’s Player: Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Argentina/PSG)
Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy/AC Milan/ PSG) Edouard Mendy (Senegal/Chelsea), Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)