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Top favourites to win the 2024 African Footballer of the Year

African Footballer of the Year. African footballers.  The African Footballer of the Year award is the top individual honour for African footballers, given by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Legends like Yaya Toure, Samuel Eto’o, and George Weah have won this award multiple times.

This year’s race is wide open after an exciting Africa Cup of Nations and strong performances by African players in leagues around the world. We take a look at the top favourites players to win the 2024 African Footballer of the Year award.
Read also: Top 5 African footballers with the most Premier League titles

Mohammed Salah (Egypt)

Mohamed Salah, a two-time winner of the African Footballer of the Year award, will be aiming for his third title in 2024. Despite a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations where an injury cut his tournament short, Salah had another impressive season for Liverpool with 25 goals and 14 assists in all competitions, along with a League Cup winner’s medal. While he’s had better seasons, he remains one of Africa’s top footballers.

Serhou Guirassy (Guinea)

Serhou Guirassy had an incredible breakout season in the Bundesliga, scoring many goals that helped turn Stuttgart from relegation candidates to Champions League qualifiers. Last season, Stuttgart barely avoided relegation through a play-off, but this season, they finished as runners-up, above Bayern Munich, and will compete with Europe’s elite next season.

Guirassy broke the Bundesliga record for goals scored in the first seven games, netting 13 times and surpassing Robert Lewandowski’s record of 11 goals. He finished the season with 28 goals in 28 league appearances, ending as runner-up to Harry Kane for the European Golden Shoe.

Victor Boniface (Nigeria)

Another standout centre-forward in the Bundesliga this season was Victor Boniface, who earned the Rookie of the Year award after an impressive debut campaign at Bayer Leverkusen. Boniface scored 14 goals and provided eight assists in just 18 league starts, playing a crucial role in Leverkusen winning the German championship for the first time in their history.

Xabi Alonso’s team clinched the title without a single defeat, making them the first German team to achieve this milestone and only the third side in Europe’s top five leagues to accomplish an unbeaten season in the 21st century. They later secured the DFB-Pokal by defeating Kaiserslautern, completing a domestic double.

Boniface’s performance was outstanding throughout the campaign, with injuries being the only setback preventing him from further success. He was sidelined due to an adductor injury and missed the Africa Cup of Nations as a result.

Ademola Lookman (Nigeria)

What a season it has been for Ademola Lookman. From the disappointment of Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations loss to Ivory Coast in the final, to the pinnacle of his career with Atalanta’s Europa League triumph.

Just four months after the defeat, Lookman found redemption with a hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final. This achievement made him the first player since 1975 to score a hat-trick in the final of a major European competition, marking a historic moment in his career.

The win secured Atalanta’s first trophy in 61 years, capping off a remarkable season for Lookman, who netted a total of 15 goals across all competitions for the Italian club.
Read also: 5 Nigerian defenders in Europe’s leagues not playing for the Super Eagles

Ayoub El Kaabi (Morocco)

Ayoub El Kaabi, a Moroccan player, has made a significant impact in European competition this season. After joining Olympiacos from Al Saad on a free transfer last summer, he has had a remarkable campaign in the Greek capital.

El Kaabi has been prolific, scoring 33 goals across all competitions for Olympiacos. Impressively, he netted 11 goals in just nine Europa Conference League matches, playing a key role in José Luis Mendilibar’s team’s historic achievement as the first Greek side to win a European trophy. Notable highlights include a hat-trick in the semi-final against Aston Villa and the decisive winning goal in the final against Fiorentina, held in Athens.

El Kaabi’s performance in the knockout rounds of a European competition has been unparalleled, with his 11 goals surpassing the likes of Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema. While his achievements may not have garnered as much attention on the grandest stage, his season has undeniably been exceptional.