Former Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Nosa Ikpeba is not allowing nationalism or sentiments affect him in his choice of 2019 African Footballer of The Year, as he gives the nod to Liverpool’s Senegalese star, Sadio Mane, ahead of three Nigeria stars, Odion Jude Ighalo, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi and Victor Osimhen.
Although Nigerian soccer fans were excited to see Ighalo, Ndidi and Osimhen nominated for the CAF awards’ top prize on Monday, Ikpeba has ruled out any of the trio from lifting the gong on January 7 in Egypt, while also putting Mane ahead of his Liverpool teammate, Mohammed Salah, who won the past two titles.
In arriving at his choice of Mane as the next winner of the award he also went home with in 1997, ‘The Prince of Monaco,’ as Ikpeba was fondly called during his playing days, stressed that the Senegalese star created immense personal and collective marks during the year in review, which means he deserves to be winner of the 2019 CAF African Footballer of The Year award.
Added during Monday Night Football on SuperSport: “It will be difficult for the Nigerians to win it. The only Nigerian player with some chance will be Odion Ighalo who was the top scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Maybe when you come to the CAF Best Eleven, Wilfred Ndidi has a chance to make it. Ighalo definitely has a chance to be part of the XI but it’s looking good for Mane. People might argue that he didn’t win the Africa Cup of Nations but he helped Senegal reach the final and Liverpool to win the UEFA Champions League back in June.”