Reigning Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah, his Liverpool club-mate Sadio Mane and 2015 winner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, made the top three for the most prestigious individual accolade in African football.
Thomas Partey, the only Ghanaian on the initial 34-man shortlist, failed to make the podium despite winning two European trophies with his Atletico Madrid team in 2018.
It means Abedi Ayew still remains the last Ghanaian player to receive the biggest individual honor in African football. The maestro picked the title of Africa’s finest player of the year in 1991 (by France Football), 1992 (by France Football and CAF) and 1993 (by France Football).
It also means Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew are the only Ghanaian players to appear on the podium in the last thirteen years.
Essien, in his prime, came third in 2005 and 2006, runner-up in 2007 to Frederic Kanoute of Mali, third in 2008 and 2009. Gyan was runner-up in 2010 following a great World Cup in South Africa but Samuel Eto’o still won it after winning the Champions League with Inter Milan whilst Andre Ayew finished third place in 2011 and 2015.
It is not Partey failing to make the final three that is worrying considering the quality of the three selected in the names of Aubameyang, Salah and Mane. These are without doubt the continent’s la creme de la creme at the moment but what is alarming is the fact that when 34 best African players are assembled only one Ghanaian player makes the list. This is serious for a great African football nation like Ghana.
The Caf awards gala will take place on 8 January in Dakar and the 2018 African Footballer of the year will be unveiled.