The cancellation of the 2020 Ballon d’Or award may not have come as a surprise to many but it certainly cut to the heart for a few African players like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah who fancied themselves with a real chance to take home an award. But what are the chances of Africa bringing home the Ballon dÓr in the future?
The one and only time the win has gone to an African player was back in 1995. This was also the first year that players outside of Europe were eligible to win. George Weah was the lucky recipient after beating Jurgen Klinsmann with 144 votes to 108.
Both this year's possible winners, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, were worthy of taking home the award. They both performed solidly, and were key factors in Liverpool taking the Premier League title, coming back from a 30-year dry spell.
Sadio Mane seemed to be the favorite during the 2020 season. He really lifted his game to perform in grand style. This Senegalese superstar looks to be on the rise, and the future certainly could see him bringing home the glory for the African continent. In 2019 he was already in 4th place for the Ballon d’Or race makes and Messi, last year's winner, himself said that it was a pity Mane took only fourth place implying he believed the Liverpool soldier had much more to offer!
This by no means leaves Mo Salah out in the cold. Although he has been plagued by injuries and maybe didn’t achieve his ultimate dream of a perfect season, he has won the Premier League Golden Boot twice and got voted as the African Player of the Year in 2018 and 2017. This shows the massive potential for a future win for the player.
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