Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for a record sixth time, pipping Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo to the award but African stars made history for the continent with three featuring in the top ten and two making the cut in the top five.
Africa though continues to wait for the day an African player will win the Ballon D’or award since George Weah’s success in 1995.
Africa’s hopes were dashed once again on Monday when the trophy was awarded to Lionel Messi during a ceremony held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France.
For the first time in the history of the Ballon D’or, Africa has three players in the top 10 of the men’s category.
Senegalese striker Sadio Mané failed to reach the podium while his Egyptian team-mate in Liverpool, Mohamed Salah, finished in fifth place in a highly talked about ranking.
With this and for the first time in the history of the award, three African players had been ranked in the top 10 for the coveted Golden Ball, among the nominees, Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Egypt’s Mohammed Salah and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez placed the highest of those from Africa.
Five footballers from the African continent were nominated for this year’s award, including Liverpool prolific attacking duo of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Here Is How Africa’s Finest Placed In 2019 Ballon D’or Final Rankings
- Sadio Mane – 4th position.
- Mohamed Salah – 5th position.
- Riyad Mahrez – 10th position.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 20th position.
- Kalidou Koulibaly – 24th position.
By Gerald Dandah