It’s always nice to see Liverpool players receive wider recognition, and here is yet another achievement for two of our finest stars.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané have both been nominated for the BBC African Footballer of the Year award for 2018. For better or worse (surely an African organisation would be more suitable than a British broadcaster?), the award has become the de facto acknowledgement of the player from the continent who has reached the pinnacle of the game. The award is once again a public vote, with some saying that the enthusiasm of the Egyptians saw Salah take home the statue last year.
Salah comes in as the reigning champion and surely the favourite to win again. With the disappointing performance of the African sides at last summer’s World Cup in Russia, it will surely come down to club performances and the Egyptian seems to be peerless on that front. Having broken the record for Premier League goals scored in a 38 game season, the PFA Player of the Year winner seems to have recovered from an early season wobble to start banging in the goals once again.
Mané meanwhile is perhaps unfortunate to play in the same side as Salah, with his own achievements often becoming overlooked. The Senegal international was vital in the run to the Champions League final last season, and his goal was perhaps the only moment to savour from the final itself. It’s hard to make a strong case for Mané to win the whole thing considering Salah is also around, but his nomination is undoubtedly deserved.
The other three nominees are Medhi Benatia of Juventus and Morocco, Kalidou Koulibaly of Senegal and Napoli, and Thomas Partey of Ghana and Atletico Madrid. One would imagine Koulibaly is the most likely to challenge Salah given his excellent form for Napoli.
You can vote for either of our two forwards here (or one of the other players, but keep it a secret).