No Nigerian player is in the official Africa Finest XI released on Wednesday by the Confederation of African Football ahead of this year’s Glo-CAF Award billed to take place in Abuja on Thursday.
Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are named as substitutes in the star- studded list which has the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane and Eric Baily, who all ply their trades in the EPL like the Nigerian duo.
The 2016 African Player of the Year will be known on Thursday, with no Nigerian player making the final shortlist of players.
However, Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Genort Rohr, believes that Iheanacho, Iwobi and Victor Moses, will see Nigeria have representation for the next edition’s shortlist.
Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday, Rohr said: “I am sure next year one of Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses will be in the final shortlist for the Africa Player of the Year award.”
Iheanacho has already won a CAF award, when he was crowned the most promising youngster in 2013, shortly after helping Nigeria win the FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates that same year.
Interestingly the Manchester City forward has been shortlisted in that category in the 2016 Awards again.
On his part, Iwobi, who has had a decent start to the season for Arsenal, has his maiden nomination in the Youth Player category.
Africa Finest XI
Goalkeeper: Denis ONYANGO (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Serge AURIER (Cote d’Ivoire & Paris Saint-Germain), Aymen ABDENNOUR (Tunisia & Valencia), Eric BAILLY (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United), Joyce LOMALISA (DR Congo & AS Vita)
Midfielders: Khama BILLIAT (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford KALABA (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Keegan DOLLY (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns),
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Sadio MANE (Senegal & Liverpool), Riyad MAHREZ (Algeria & Leicester City)
Aymen MATHLOUTHI (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel), Kalidou KOULIBALY (Senegal & Napoli), Salif COULIBALY (Mali & TP Mazembe), Islam SLIMANI (Algeria & Leicester City), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Kelechi IHEANACHO (Nigeria & Manchester City), Alex IWOBI (Nigeria and Arsenal)