2019 AFCON Best Player Award: Ighalo battles Mane & 3 others

African Football By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 19/07/2019

Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo battles Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Rais M’Bolhi and Kalidou Koulibaly for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Best Player Award.

The 32nd editions of the continent most glamorous competition will come to an end Friday night after Senegal and Algeria slug it out at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.

Three weeks of top quality football in the Africa Cup of Nations with 24 teams, 552 players, and 51 matches played so far with one last fixture remaining and these fantastic talents have been the best the continent has witnessed over the course of the championships and any one of them could end up being the Golden Ball winner.

Who will be crowned AFCON 2019 Best Player?

Ighalo: Former Premier League and La Liga star hands Super Eagles bronze after scoring the fifth time in the tournament to ensure three-times Africa Champions win their eighth bronze medal at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday night.

Shanghai Shenhua hotshot become the first Nigerian player to score five goals at any Africa Cup Of Nations tournament since late Rashidi Yekini did that in 1994 and the 5 goals are also the most any competition topscorer has had since 1998 [Hossam Hassan & Benni McCarthy. Both 7 goals

Sadio Mane: Senegal forward is one the contender for the 2019 Africa Cup Nations Golden Ball Award after scoring three goals so far that lead Teranga Lions to final against Algeria

Liverpool star was the joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside Mohammed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and help Jurgen Klopp to win his first prestigious UEFA Champions League.

Riyad Mahrez: Manchester City winger has been magical in the 32nd edition finding back of the net three times including stunning free-kick handed Algeria a semifinal victory over Nigeria and sent the Desert Foxes to their first final in 29 years.

Kalidou Koulibaly: The Napoli center-back has been rock solid for Senegal after just conceded one goal in the tournament. 

Koulibaly will miss that game due to suspension. But he’ll be hoping that the team inspired by Mane would cope without him.

Rais M’Bolhi: The 33-year-old did not concede a goal until the quarterfinal game against Ivory but that was even after making several impossible saves. And when the game was to be decided on penalties, M’Bolhi came through again, saving from Willy Bony to send Algeria through.

Ighalo is the other man to have scored against Rais but even the top marksman needed a penalty to get the better of the tournament’s safest pair of hands.