African footballers. Finally, the nominees for this year’s Ballon d’or have been announced. The prestigious football award is given to the best footballer each year since 1956. The current Ballon d’Or holder is Karim Benzema (2022). The ceremony is scheduled to take place on October 30th in Paris.
Here are this years Ballon d’or nominees of African decent:
André Onana Onana (born 2 April 1996) is a Cameroonian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Manchester United. He is known for his impeccable reflexes and shot-stopping abilities.
In January 2023 he won the Supercoppa Italiana against rivals AC Milan and also went on to win the Coppa Italia, defeating Fiorentina in May 2023. He played an integral role in helping guide Inter to the 2023 Champions League Final.
Victor James Osimhen MFR (born 29 December 1998) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team.
Considered one of the best strikers in the world, known for his presence, athleticism, strength, directness, runs into space, eye for goal and his linkup play. At 185 cm, he has good holdup play. He also relies on pace to beat opponents.
Osimhen is regarded as one of the best centre-forwards in European football. He has been compared to fellow young strikers Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Alexander Isak and Dušan Vlahović.
Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly (born 15 June 1992), also known as Mo Salah, is an Egyptian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Liverpool and captains the Egypt national team.
Considered one of the best players of his generation and amongst the greatest African players of all time, he is known for his clinical finishing, dribbling and speed.
Bukayo Ayoyinka Temidayo Saka (born 5 September 2001) is an English professional footballer who plays as a right winger, midfielder, or full back for Premier League club Arsenal and the England national team. He is considered to be one of the best young players in the world.
Saka has spent his entire first-team club career with Arsenal, where he has won an FA Cup and two FA Community Shields, progressively becoming one of Arsenal’s most prolific and influential players. Following both the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons, he was named as Arsenal’s Player of the Season.
Saka represented England at various youth levels before making his debut for the senior team in October 2020. He was part of England’s squad at the UEFA Euro 2020, and represented the nation at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Karim Mostafa Benzema (born 19 December 1987) to Algerian parents, is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad. Regarded as one of the best strikers of all time, he is a creative forward renowned for his goal-scoring ability, as well as his technical skills, vision, and versatility on the field. He is Real Madrid’s all-time second-highest goalscorer and top assist provider. Benzema won 24 trophies with Real Madrid, including four La Liga, three Copa del Rey, and five UEFA Champions League titles.
He has been named French Player of the Year by France Football four times. For his performances in 2021 and 2022, Benzema was awarded the UEFA Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or, becoming the fifth French player to have won the Ballon d’Or. At 34 years and 302 days old, he is the second-oldest winner of the award, after Stanley Matthews
Randal Kolo Muani
Randal Kolo Muani (born 5 December 1998) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain and the France national team. He holds both French and Congolese nationality
Kolo Muani began his professional career at Nantes, where he scored 23 goals in 87 first-team appearances and won the Coupe de France. In 2022, he joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a free transfer, after his contract at Nantes expired.
Kolo Muani played youth international football for France at under-21 and Olympic levels. He made his senior international debut in September 2022. He was a member of the France squad that were runners-up at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Yassine Bounou (born 5 April 1991), also known as Bono, is a Moroccan professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, and the Morocco national team.
Bono began his youth career in Morocco, playing for Wydad AC. He spent most of his senior career in Spain, making over 150 La Liga appearances for Girona and Sevilla, and over 50 in the Segunda División for Zaragoza and Girona. He won the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla in 2020 and 2023.
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