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Aubameyang, not Mane, Africa’s best bet for Ballon d’Or

6:00 AM MYT 20/10/2017
Aubameyang Mane HP.
Only two of Africa’s players were named on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, but which is the continent’s best bet for the award?

Africa’s two nominees for the Ballon d’Or must be considered rank outsiders for the prize, but according to Goal readers, it’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and not Sadio Mane who’s the continent’s best bet.

Last week, we launched a poll, asking readers about whether Auba or Mane was Africa’s primary contender for the annual prize.

60 percent of respondents plumped for the Gabon forward ahead of Mane, with only 40 percent tipping the Senegal international as the African star more likely to claim the award.

Aubameyang may have struggled in midweek, as Dortmund were held 1-1 by APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League, but the reigning Bundesliga top scorer has demonstrated his class consistently this term.

Aubameyang stats | 2017-18 Bundesliga

He already has 10 goals in eight matches in the German top flight, and continues to terrorise the division’s defences with his off-the-ball movement, pace and finishing.

Mane, by contrast, has had a stop-start beginning to the campaign.

However, when he has featured, he’s served regular reminders of his outstanding quality.

To date, he has three goals in five Premier League outings—starring in the 4-0 demolition of Arsenal—but first suspension and latterly injury has stymied his progress.

While the Reds still managed to demolish Maribor 7-0 in the Champions League without Mane, it remains to be seen whether they can pick up their flagging Premier League campaign while the Senegal international remains on the sidelines.