The Ivorian and Gabonese each have a chance to break into the 2013 Goal 50 list for the first time following their impressive club performances last season
By Kingsley Kobo
Goal 50 is here again! The best 50 soccer players around the globe are being handpicked by the website’s pundits, with the final list set for release later this month.
|BONY WILFRIED STATS
Last year only three African players were named among the 50 best, topped by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and countryman Yaya Toure proudly made the top 10, sitting on sixth and ninth positions respectively, while Zambia’s Christopher Kantongo finished on no. 42.
A couple of African professionals could emerge in the upcoming Goal50. Here are two young men who stand a chance to win the heart of voters by virtue of their laudable labour and realisations at their respective clubs during the 2012-13 season.
Cote D’Ivoire international Bony Wilfried was arguably the best African player in all of Europe last season. That is in terms of goalscoring, after he notched up 31 goals for his Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse and 37 in all competitions, including continental and international matches.
The 24-year-old brawny striker finished as the fourth top scorer in Europe behind Lionel Messi (46), Cristiano Ronaldo (33) and Philipp Hosiner of Austria Wien (32).
And although his critics deem him a selfish player for having zero assists across the entire season, his ability to finish goalmouth efforts with dexterity, guided by a good positioning sense and sharp focus may sway voters his way.
|PIERRE EMERICK AUBAMEYANG STATS
Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who played at Saint Etienne in the French Ligue 1 last season, saw his market value soar before the opening of the transfer window after finishing as the league’s second top scorer with 19 goals behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 30 with new champions Paris Saint Germain.
During his two seasons with the Stephanois the French-born 24-year-old striker recorded 37 goals in 87 matches to prove his dependability on the attacking line.
With nine assists provided last season, two more than Ibrahimovic, Aubameyang counts among the forwards who can find handy holes in the opposing defence and personally exploit them for his mates.
Although with close to a thousand names of brilliant players to pick to assemble the list of 50, the journey to the top appears tough, but the duo of Bony and Aubameyang are capable of pulling enough votes to finish honourably.