The British Broadcasting Service (BBC) has asked football fans throughout the world to commence choice of BBC African Football Of The Year, 2015 by indicating their choices through voting.
BBC said in a special live launch broadcast in Johannesburg, South Africa that five African players have been picked for the exercise.
The five-Algeria’s Yacine Brahimi, Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ghana’s Andre Ayew, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure of Cote D’lvoire, were adjudged by the BBC as the five best players from the African continent this year.
Brahimi is the current holder of the prize, having beaten other contestants in 2014. Aubameyang, the greatest player that has emerged from Gabon in football history, is currently making waves in the Bundesliga where he plays for Borussia Dortmund.
Aubameyang, 26, who plays striking role for Dortmund, makes the BBC’s shortlist for the third consecutive time but has not been fortunate to win the prize. He finished as top scorer for the German club last season before creating incredible hatrick records in the Bundesliga in 2015/2016 season.
Last October, Aubameyang became the very first player to score a hat-trick in the first eight matches of a Bundesliga season, with his first 17 competitive games resulting in 20 goals, a run that included back-to-back hat-tricks.
Andre Ayew has himself, made a flying superb start to life in the English Premier League playing for Swansea.
The season brought plenty of progress for Ayew but all of that was punctuated by the comprehensive fall of the Black Stars of Ghana in last February’s Africa Cup of Nations against Cote D’lvoire in the grand finale.
But as Nations Cup tournament’s joint top scorer, 25-year old Ayew was nonetheless, crucial to Ghana’s run in the competition and quickly transferred his form to the Premier League, with an impressive five-goal haul from his first 10 games for Swansea City.
Brahimi on his side, is 25 and a striker of exceptional quality. An Algerian, he has added goals to his stella wing play, netting a career-best 13 last season while helping FC Porto reach their first Champions League quarter-final in six years.
His splendid dribbles in his Champions League campaigns prior to the semi-finals was only bettered by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Sadio Mane is also Africa’s jewel in the game. On May 16 this year, Mane, playing for Southampton, needed just 176 seconds to record the faste hat-trick in the 23-year history of the English Premier League. He has so far scored 10 goals with five assists in the 29 EPL games he has now played, a feat made more impressive given the 23-year-old player’s role as a midfielder rather than a striker.
Yaya Toure completes the bloc of the five players listed for the BBC award. The Ivorien won the award in 2013 and is the only player among those shortlisted, who lifted a trophy this year. The 32-year old captain of the Cote D’Ivoire national team helped his country win the last Africa Cup of Nation’s trophy, a title which eluded his country for more than two decades.
The oldest of the five nominees, Toure is key to Manchester City’s growing fortunes in the EPL and his previous performances have even been recognized by FIFA which shortlisted him as the only African on the list of possible winners of the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
Fans who wish to participate in the selection are to adhere to the following instructions:
Send an SMS from your phone to +447786202008.
Text 1 for Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
Text 2 for Andre Ayew
Text 3 for Yacine Brahimi
Text 4 for Sadio Mane
Text 5 for Yaya Toure.
The winner will be announced on December 11, 2015 during a special broadcast on BBC World News.