France 24 and RFI unveiled on Monday the names of the 12 finalists for the Marc-Vivien Foé 2022 prize, which rewards the best African footballer who played in Ligue 1 during the 2021-2022 season.
The 12 contenders for the succession of the Congolese Gaël Kakuta, winner of the RFI-France 24 Marc-Vivien Foé 2021 prize, have just been revealed.
This selection, announced Monday, April 4, is dominated by the Moroccans, who have four named, including the right side of the Atlas Lions Achraf Hakimi, sparkling with PSG. It also has an African champion, the Senegalese Idrissa Gueye, but no goalkeeper is on the list.
Here is the list of the 12 named in alphabetical order:
• Yunis Abdelhamid (Stade de Reims / Morocco)
Taulier of the Stade de Reims, club of which he is the oldest player (present since 2017) and the oldest (34 years old), the Moroccan defender is a regularity machine. Barring a physical glitch or suspension, he plays all the matches, with the captain’s armband of course. A safe bet for coach Oscar Garcia.
• Nayef Aguerd (Stade Rennes / Morocco)
If Rennes is firmly established in the top five of Ligue 1, the Moroccan is no stranger to it. The Lion of the Atlas is unstoppable in central defense, where his stature imposes (1.88 m, 76 kilos). With him, Stade Rennes has one of the best defenses in the championship.
• Mohamed Bayo (Clermont Foot / Guinea)
The 23-year-old striker, top scorer in Ligue 2 (22 goals) last season, confirms this year during his first experience in Ligue 1. The Guinean has often been decisive with Clermont, allowing CF63 to dream of maintaining.
• Sofiane Boufal (Angers SCO / Morocco)
After a first season disrupted by injuries and the Covid-19, the attacking midfielder has regained his smile and his football under the colors of Angers. Scorer and passer, the Moroccan flourishes with his training club, far from the mixed experience in England. Enough to win a second Marc-Vivien Foé title after that of 2016?
• Seko Fofana (Racing Club of Lens / Ivory Coast)
He had finished 7and of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize in 2021. This year, the Ivorian has gained weight again with RC Lens, the club of which he is the captain. To the point of being considered one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1. At almost 27 years old, his future may lie elsewhere than in the north of France.
• Idrissa Gueye (PSG / Senegal)
In a game sector in constant evolution in Paris, the Senegalese brings his stone to the building. Versatile, the African champion is more involved in the offensive sector this season. This is not its primary function, but it is appreciated in the capital.
• Achraf Hakimi (PSG / Morocco)
For Kylian Mbappé, he is the best right-back in the world. The Moroccan, recruited last summer against sixty million euros, is in any case an essential element of the most upscale club in France. Scorer, decisive passer, the former Madrid player does not neglect his tasks in defense.
• Wahbi Khazri (Saint-Etienne / Tunisia)
Already captain in selection, the attacker was also promoted to Saint-Étienne: at the beginning of winter, the club, then in full discomfiture, entrusted him with the armband. With Pascal Dupraz as coach and the Tunisian as a natural and respected leader on the pitch, the Greens have regained hope in the race to maintain.
• Mario Lemina (OGC Nice / Gabon)
At 28, the Gabonese has already passed through Italy, England and Turkey. An experience that he puts forward this season in Nice, where his technical accuracy and his slaughter are precious. The midfielder is in any case one of the great craftsmen of the beautiful season of the Nice club.
•Moses Simon (FC Nantes / Nigeria)
Fast, technical and confusing, the 27-year-old Nigerian winger brings a touch of unpredictability to the game at FC Nantes. More than a scorer, the Super Eagles is above all a decisive passer and a formidable dribbler. A rare profile in Ligue 1.
• Karl Toko-Ekambi (Olympique Lyonnais / Cameroon)
Untenable in the Europa League, Karl Toko-Ekambi is also valuable in the league. Despite his absence during the CAN, the Cameroonian is still one of the most used Lyonnais. After winning the Marc-Vivien Foé prize in 2018, when he played in Angers, the Indomitable Lion is again in the running this year.
• Hamari Traoré (Stade Rennes / Mali)
Announced on the departure last summer, the supersonic side finally stayed in Rennes and was even promoted to captain there. Since then, the Malian has continued his momentum, chaining convincing performances in his right lane and multiplying the assists.
NB: are eligible for the Marc-Vivien Foé prize players who have worn the colors of an African national team and who have played at least 15 league matches 1 this season.
• Winners of previous editions
2021: Gael Kakuta (DR Congo)
2020: Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)
2019: Nicolas Pépé (Ivory Coast)
2018: Karl Toko-Ekambi (Cameroon)
2017: Jean Michaël Seri (Ivory Coast)
2016: Sofiane Boufal (Morocco)
2015: Andre Ayew (Ghana)
2014: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
2013: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
2012: Younes Belhanda (Morocco)
2011: Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
2010: Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
2009: Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)