The five-man shortlist of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Naby Keita, Sadio
Mane, Victor Moses and Mohamed Salah was revealed during a special live
launch broadcast in London.
Cameroon’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winner Arnaud Djoum was part of
the panel to discuss the nominees, as were Nigeria’s 1996 Olympic
football champion Emanuel Amuneke and Jean Sseninde of Uganda’s national
team and Crystal Palace ladies squad.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced on Monday 11
December, live on BBC World TV and BBC World Service Radio, starting
from 17:35 GMT.
The BBC Sport and BBC Africa websites will also carry the announcement.
1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Gabon & Borussia Dortmund
Aubameyang, 28, has had an outstanding 2017, scoring 35 goals for Dortmund, with whom he won the German Cup.
The Gabonese became the first African to top the Bundesliga scoring
charts outright and only the fourth player in Bundesliga history to hit
over 30 goals – a feat that helped him become the sole African on Fifa’s
Player of the Year shortlist.
2. Naby Keita – RB Leipzig & Guinea
Joining Aubameyang in the Bundesliga team of the season was Keita, the
Guinean midfielder who startled everybody with his form for RB Leipzig
in a brilliant debut season for both – as the new boys finished second
in the league.
The 22-year-old scored eight goals and made seven others en route to
being voted the best midfielder in the division and earning an African
record transfer fee to Liverpool, who he will join next July.
3. Sadio Mane – Senegal & Liverpool
Voted on to the PFA Team of the Year and crowned Liverpool’s Player of
the Year, Mane, 25, was also one of just two Africans to make the Ballon
He also shone as Senegal reached their first World Cup since 2002. A
clinical victory over a South Africa at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in
Polokwane sealed their place in Russia, with Mane key to the Teranga
Lions’ victory with both assists in a 2-0 win.
Liverpool’s then-record buy finished his first season at the club as the
joint top scorer as the Reds qualified for the Champions League with
only their second top-four finish in eight years.
4. Victor Moses – Nigeria & Chelsea
After so many years on the Chelsea sidelines, Nigeria’s Moses finally
established himself at Stamford Bridge – and the wait was worth it as he
ended the season as a regular starter, a Premier League champion and
with an FA Cup runners-up medal.
Moses was reborn under coach Antonio Conte, who spotted qualities that
previous Chelsea managers hadn’t, as he converted into a right wing-back
with natural attacking instincts and defensive diligence. He also
helped Nigeria qualify for Russia 2018.
5. Mohamed Salah – Egypt & Liverpool
Mo Salah was King of the Pharaohs in 2017 – scoring a dramatic
stoppage-time penalty against Congo to fire Egypt to their first World
Cup since 1990 while also having a hand in four of the North Africans’
five goals as they finished runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations.
He also performed at club level – scoring 15 goals and making 11 others
as Roma finished Serie A runners-up behind Juventus before starting his
Liverpool career in equally impressive fashion, with 12 goals from his
first 17 games.