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Mahrez and Aubameyang Make the 40-man Shortlist for UEFA Team of the Year

Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have made the 40-man shortlist for UEFA’s 2016 Team of the Year.

The two players who also made the final shortlist for BBC’s African Player of the year are part of the 4 goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 12 midfielders and 12 strikers nominated. The team shortlist is picked by UEFA editorial staff basing on performances for a national team or a European club over the course of the year.

Mahrez was a key part of Leicester City’s fairy tale run that defied a 5,000-1 put by most betting pundits to win the League. The player became the first African to be named PFA player of the season after scoring 17 league goals, 11 assists and season full of match winning performances. He was also instrumental in Algeria’s flawless Gabon 2017 AFCON qualification campaign.

Aubameyang who is the reigning African footballer of the year and is joint favorites with Mahrez to win the award also had a phenomenon season at Borrusia Dortmund. The lightning fast striker ended last season with 25 goals out of 31 performances and was tenth in the race for the European Golden shoe, level with Harry Kane and just two points behind Lionel Messi.


Aubameyang cerebrating a Goal for Borrusia Dortmond. (Photo from Getty Images)


He has continued this season where he ended the last, leading the Bundesliga top scorers’ chart with 12 goals in 10 games, five ahead of Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski.  He is considered by many as one of the best strikers of our generation.

The two are the only Africans to make the list and are among the 15 first time nominees vying for selection on the team of the year. Other countries hoping to make the list for the first time on a UEFA team of the year are Costa Rica, Croatia, Chile, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia and Uruguay.

Arsenal are the best-represented Premier League team on the list, with three players making the cut. The two Manchester based sides each have two representatives, while Tottenham, Leicester, Chelsea, West Ham and Stoke all have one.

Among the 40 nominees, 17 nationalities represented covering 21 clubs across Europe. The voting started yesterday 21st November, 2016 and will end on Tuesday, 3rd January, 2017.

The UEFA final team of year will be chosen by the supporters in an online poll on the official UEFA website and will be announced on Thursday, 5th January, 2017.





Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon) Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)


Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)


Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Man United), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Joe Allen (Stoke), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Grzegorz Krychowiak (PSG)


Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Neymar (Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Sergio Aguero, (Man City), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)


Featured Photo: Riyad Mahrez Cerebrating a Goal for Leicester last Season. (Photo from Getty Images)

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