Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly is happy with the high number of African representatives on the 30-man list of nominees for the upcoming Ballon d’Or. However, he claims that at least one of those named deserves to win the prestigious award.
The Napoli defender alongside compatriot Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang are the five Africans on the list.
“In the past, we didn’t get such a huge representation. It shows African football has progressed over the years, and now has its place in world football,” Koulibaly said.
“The five players on that list deserve to be there because they are among the best at the moment. But, we as Africans, are wishing and praying for one of our representatives to clinch the ultimate next month.
“I see Mane or Mahrez. But it would be difficult, I must confess, due to certain considerations,” he added.
Now Liberia president George Weah remains the only African to have won the Ballon d’Or, in 1995.
The winner of this year’s edition will be announced on December 2.