RFI and FRANCE 24 have released the names of the 13 finalists nominated for the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize, which will be awarded to the best African football player in France’s Ligue 1 for the 2017-2018 season.
While not yet a superstar at AS Monaco, the Senegalese striker is already providing fine glimpses of his talent. A scorer and a passer, the Catalonia-born, Barcelona-trained footballer has found interesting chemistry with Colombian teammate Radamel Falcao since joining the club in August 2017. He also remains popular in Italy, where he first made a name for himself.
On loan from Belgium’s Standard Liège, the Togolese midfielder has been a rare bright spot during FC Metz’s difficult season. His assists, his vision and his experience count among the Ligue 1 club’s rare assets in its battle to avoid relegation.
On a one-year loan from English Premier League side Bournemouth, with no option for Toulouse to buy, the winger has nevertheless given his all in his new colours. The 2015 African champion made the difference on several occasions with his goals, his dribbles and his aggressive play. If the Ligue 1 club stays up this season, it will owe the achievement in part to the Ivorian.
The footballer once dubbed the “Black Zidane” did not make good on those heavy hopes, far from it. But he has found success in his native northern France after wearing ten other pro club shirts in six different championships. As a result, a number of teams are interested in buying his contract from Hebei China Fortune FC.
Be it as attacking midfielder or lone striker, the Tunisian scores points with his technical sharpness and physical play. Often a deciding factor for Rennes, the Corsican-born player now hopes to return to England, where he still belongs to Sunderland, a club poised to play third-division football next season.
Discreet off the field, less so on the Ligue 1 pitches. The centre forward’s goals, often decisive, have allowed Amiens to clinch valuable points. He still has to score against big clubs to prove he has the makings of a high-level striker.
The Ivorian player has often brought the only joy during the LOSC’s nightmare season. Fast and technical, the Angers defector is likely to pack his bags for a more upscale club if Lille is relegated to Ligue 2.
Winner of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize 2017, the Ivorian is not at the exceptional level that nearly allowed him to sign with FC Barcelona. But the midfielder’s work is notable for his ruthlessness and his feel for the game. It won’t be easy for the OGCN to replace him.
At 29, the Cape Verdean is enjoying the best season of his career. In his sixth year among the Dijonnais, the Portuguese has already matched his goal record in a season. In any case he’s got the body of a removal man and this ex-workman is one of the craftsmen of the DFCO’s good game in Ligue 1.
He won’t be here in 2018-2019. The SCO has already announced that its star striker will be transferred this summer. And for good reason. With more than 15 goals under his belt, the Cameroonian has finally become a real fox in the box. His achievements against giants like Marseille, Lyon or PSG proved it.
Widely admired for his technical prowess, speed and superb striking, Traoré may emerge as the new darling of the Lyonnais side. He remains, however, a tad erratic.
Apparently irreplaceable, under the direction of either Christian Gourcuff or Sabri Lamouchi, the 26-year-old right back works hard and effectively. His one great drawback: a propensity to draw yellow cards for unsportsmanlike behavior.
One of Marseilles’ greatest assets this season by far, the former Coton Sport midfielder is proving himself an even more accomplished player than he was last year. His muscular style on the pitch allows Brazilian striker Luiz Gustavo to shine. A fearsome warrior, in the best Cameroonian tradition.