The Africa Cup of Nations 2019 will kick off on Friday (June 21) to witness the return of competition in the “black continent” with the aspirations of the long-standing teams to achieve the title.
Apart from the competition between the different teams, there is competition among the players to win the Africa Best Player of the Year after Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, the top scorer of Liverpool, won this title for two years in a row.
The race to win the best player will appear between Algeria’s Riad Mehrez, and the Egyptian Mohamed Salah and the Senegalese Sadio Mané, after Pierre Emerick Aubamyang failed to lead Gabon to the Africa Cup of Nations and the player did not realize any success with Arsenal except to the participation in the Golden Boot with the Liverpool teammates.
Riyad Mahrez won his first Premier League title with Leicester City 2015-2016 and won the African Footballer of the Year award during that season.
He has joined Manchester City and won all the local tournaments since winning the Charity Cup, the EFL Cup, the Federation Cup, and the English Championship.
Pep Guardiola did not give the number of minutes that Mahrez deserved as he had with Leicester, but he scored 12 goals and made 12 goals, and also starred in the Premier League match against Brighton by making the goal and scoring another goal to kill the game.
Algeria national team played only once in 1990 on home soil, and after the failure in the Gabon version and the failure to reach the World Cup Russia, there is no alternative to a return to the platforms of the coronation in the continent only by winning the title of the Africa Cup of Nations.
For his part, the Egyptian Mohamed Salah played a prominent role in realizing Liverpool’s victory in the Champions League this season and scored a goal in the final match against Tottenham.
Mohamed Salah was one of the key players in the English Premier League. He also contributed to the team’s 97 points and lost the title after a long competition. He scored 22 goals and kept the Golden Boot for the second consecutive year.
Salah also played a big role in Egypt qualifying for the tenth group to the Africa Cup of Nations by scoring the deadly goal over Tunisia before the tournament moved from Cameroon to Egypt at the organizational level.
Salah’s chances to keep the award for the third year in a row are very strong but if he succeeds in achieving the championship with Egypt he will completely decide the competition in his favor.
Sadio Mané, who is Mohamed Salah’s partner in Liverpool, and who also contributed to the Champions League victory, scored 4 goals and 22 goals in the Premier league to carry the Golden Boot.
Mané’s goals were more impressive and he scored a total of 26 goals against 27 for the Egyptian Pharaoh, although the Senegalese player played only 50 games against 52 for Salah.
Senegal has a great chance to reap the current tournament after being the top candidate in Gabon in 2017 but he let the tournament to Cameroon in a penalty shootout.
Mané has been among the best nominees in Africa for the past 3 years but Mohamed Salah won the award twice and Riyad Mahrez before him. Therefore, his leadership of the team will be his only chance to win the Best Players in Africa.