Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named four Nigerian internationals in its shortlist for the continent’s Best XI for 2019 in recognition of their outstanding performances for club and country throughout the year.
Super Eagles quartet of Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and injured Francis Uzoho were on Thursday named amongst 56 players being considered by the continent’s football governing body for the team of the year.
Ighalo who currently plays for Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua was Africa’s top scorer in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers with seven goals before hitting a further five goals at the tournament to win the Golden Boot award and help the Super Eagles claim a bronze medal. He announced his retirement from international football immediately after the competition in Egypt.
Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi outstanding in midfield for the Super Eagles and in the Premier League where he leads the league in tackles made is joined in the midfield category by Alex Iwobi whose forty million pounds move to Everton from Arsenal in the summer made Nigeria’s most expensive player.
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AC Omonia goalkeeper Francis Uzoho is a surprise inclusion having not featured much for his Cyprus club and being displaced as Super Eagles number one in the year under review. He’s currently recuperating from a knee injury picked up on international duty which will likely sideline him for the rest of the season.
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The Caf best XI will be announced in a ceremony on January 7, 2020.
CAF Best XI Complete Nominee List
Goalkeepers: Moez Ben Cherifia, Yassine Bonnou, Mohamed El Shenaway, Sylvain Gbohouo, Rais M’bolhi, Edouard Mendy, Richard Ofori, Andre Onana, Denis Onyango, Francis Uzoho.
Defenders: Youcef Atal, Serge Aurier, Mehdi Benatia, Ahmed El-Mohammadi, Lamine Gassama, Faouzi Ghoulam, Achraf Hakimi, Ahmed Hegazi, Kalidou Koulibaly, Christian Luyindama, Issa Mandi, Joel Matip, Noussair Mazraoui, Yassine Meriah, Youssouf Sabaly.
Midfielders: Andre-Frank Anguissa, Ismael Bennacer, Sofiane Feghouli, Idrissa Gueye, Tarek Hamed, Alex Iwobi, Wahbi Khazri, Naby Keita, Franck Kessie, Wilfried Ndidi, Riyad Mahrez, Thomas Partey, Mubarak Wakaso, Victor Wanyama, Hakim Ziyech.
Forwards: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Jordan Ayew, Anis Badri, Cedric Bakambu, Youcef Belaili, Baghdad Bounedjah, Odion Ighalo, Sadio Mane, Moussa Marega, Mbaye Niang, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Salah, Islam Slimani, Percy Tau, Wilfried Zaha.