The famous “Ballon d’Or France Football” award ceremony was held on Monday 17 October in Paris, France. If the coronation of Frenchman Karim Benzema was greeted by the whole world, the great family of African football was able to witness with joy the recognition of its talents, namely Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Sebastien Haller.
Senegal’s Sadio Mane was presented with the newly introduced Socrates Award, which recognises the player who is committed to social and charitable projects. The Lions of Teranga star was celebrated for his dedication and, above all, his involvement in the development of his country through the construction of schools and hospitals.
In the overall Ballon d’Or ranking, Mané finished in second place, right behind the evening’s winner Benzema. This is the first time since His Excellency M George Weah won the award in 1995 that an African player has been ranked so highly.
Victory in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in February 2022 and qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup were also important factors, as was the striker’s performance at club level with Liverpool FC (England) last season. Mané now plays with Bayern Munich (Germany).
Pharaoh Mohamed Salah finished fifth. The Egyptian star has had a wonderful season, reaching the final of the AFCON as Egypt’s captain and reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League with his club Liverpool.
Model of self-sacrifice and courage, Sebastien Haller also finished in 13th place thanks to his performances with Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands). The Ivorian who took part in the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, has been battling cancer for several months. It is with emotion that his battle was greeted. He also thanked his family and fans for their love and support during this difficult period.
As a reminder, the concluded ceremony of Ballon d’Or France Football rewarded the major players of the game from June 2021 to June 2022.