Africa Finest XI: CAF ignores Nigeria stars

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The Confederation of African Football on Wednesday named its 11 best players for 2016 Glo-CAF awards ceremony in Abuja on Thursday with Nigerian players only good enough to make the substitute list.

Nigerian could have been affected following the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

While two Ivory Coast players made the Africa Finest 11, South Africa, Zambia, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, and DR Congo have a representatives each.

Zimbabwe, Uganda and Gabon that were once deemed continental minnows also have a player each in the squad.

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho were named on the reserve list.

Save for the heroic feats of the bronze-winning performance of the nation’s Under-23 Olympic football team in Rio, Brazil, and the Super Falcons winning the women’s Africa Cup of Nations for an eighth time in Cameroon, 2016 would have gone down as a forgettable year for Nigerian football.

The squad

Goalkeeper: Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast & PSG), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia & Valencia), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast & Man United), Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & AS Vita)

Midfielders: Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Keegan Dolly (S’Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns),

Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester)

Substitutes

Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal &Napoli), Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe), Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Man City), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria and Arsenal)

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