Salah and Mahrez named in 30 players shortlisted for 2021 Ballon d’Or as MANE and rest miss out

Top African players playing in the European elite football saw only two players named in upcoming world prestigious award for ended 2020-2021 season.

The Ballon d’Or award will have two vacancy for African players playing in Europe with the Northern hemisphere making bigger intrusion in the awards.

Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah was named in a 30-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award on Friday.

Salah finished among the top five when the award was last handed out in 2019, with last year’s prize cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Algerian super star Riyad Mahrez has also been named in the list to complete Manchester City’s five players who were included in the list.

Mahrez has been fantastic since joining City from Leicester in July 2018 and he continued his fine form last season after helping Guardiola’s men to lift the Premier League.

Salah meanwhile narrowly missed out on the Premier League’s top scorer award last season after finishing with 22 goals, just one behind Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.

However, he made a blistering start to the new season, scoring nine goals in as many appearances in all competitions, including six in the Premier League.

He might not be a frontrunner to win the Ballon d’Or though, given that Liverpool had not won any titles in 2021, finishing a disappointing third in the Premier League.

Other African household names like Sadio Mane, Thomas Partey, Franck Kessie, Naby Keita, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi and Isael Bennacer missed out in this year’s awards.

Top contenders include Argentinean wizard Lionel Messi, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.

The full list:

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)

Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

Jorginho (Chelsea)

Harry Kane (Tottenham)

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)

Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

Pedri (Barcelona)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)


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