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Former Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are among 10 stars shortlisted for the 2022 African Player of the Year award, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Monday.
Salah won the award in 2017 and 2018 and Mane in 2019. The 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mane moved to Bayern Munich last month while Salah signed an extension to his contract at Anfield.
Playing key roles as Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time this year and qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could give Mane the edge over Salah.
Another contender is 2016 African Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, the Algeria captain and Manchester City winger.
Senegal and Chelsea shot-stopper Edouard Mendy is hoping to become the first goalkeeper to lift the trophy since Moroccan Ezzaki Badou in 1986.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Rabat on July 21 after the captains and coaches of African national teams, CAF technical committee members and selected media vote.
African Player of the Year nominees:
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria, Manchester City/ENG), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon, Lyon/FRA), Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon, Al Nassr/KSA), Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast, Borussia Dortmund/GER), Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool/ENG), Naby Keita (Guinea, Liverpool/EGY), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco, Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Edouard Mendy (Senegal, Chelsea/ENG), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal, Napoli/ITA), Sadio Mane (Senegal, Bayern Munich/GER)