A total of five Africans form part of the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or revealed by France Football on Monday.
The list of nominees also includes joint record five-time winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, last season’s third-place finisher Antoine Griezmann and Uefa Men’s Player of the Year award holder Virgil van Dijk.
There is no place, though, for last year’s winner Luka Modric with the Real Madrid midfielder’s form having plummeted over the last 12 months.
The list, though, does include a strong contingent of African players with last season’s English Premier League golden boot winners Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) all making the cut.
Mane and Salah also helped Liverpool to a sixth Uefa Champions League crown with victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the final.
Senegal centre-back and Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly is also among the list of nominees, as is Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Mahrez captained Algeria to Africa Cup of Nations glory this year, having also won four domestic titles with the Sky Blues.
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