Borussia Dortmund and Gabon star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still in line to retain his African Player of the Year crown after making the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) final three-man shortlist.
The 27-year-old will go up against Leicester City’s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez – the BBC’s 2016 African Footballer of the Year – and Liverpool and Senegal winger Sadio Mane.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Islam Slimani of Algeria both missed out having made the final five.
Caf confirmed that the winners will be unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday 5 January in Abuja, Nigeria.
Aubameyang’s victory last year ended Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure’s run of winning the trophy in four successive years.
Mahrez stands a great chance of dethroning him after a stunning 2016 in which he helped Leicester win the Premier League title and won the English Players’ Player of the Year award.
Zambian midfielder Rainford Kalaba, Zimbabwean forward Khama Billiat and Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango are the three contenders for the prize for Caf’s best African player based on the continent.
List of players nominated for Caf’s 2016 African Player of the year award:
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund (Germany) and Gabon
- Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City (England) and Algeria
- Sadio Mane – Liverpool (England) and Senegal
List of players nominated for Caf’s 2016 African Player of the year (based in Africa) award:
- Denis Onyango – Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) and Uganda
- Khama Billiat – Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) and Zimbabwe
- Rainford Kalaba – TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Zambia