No Nigerian player is listed in the 100 Best Football Players in the World after the influential football magazine Four-Four-Two revealed the identities of stars for the 2019 edition.
The annual ritual is usually an endorsement and embodiment of the best players in the world as the magazine listed the likes of Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Neymar, Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Madrid) amongst others on the list.
Messi who recently won a record sixth Ballon d’Or, was listed in the number one position with the magazine saying: “Barcelona’s wizard continues to dazzle and delight, producing another calendar year of extraordinary consistency in front of goal and almost single-handedly carrying the Catalan club at times. He thought he’d achieved the best possible recognition when he was handed a record sixth Ballon d’Or earlier this month. That was until he topped the FFT100 (OK, fine). Again. The greatest, bar none.”
While no Nigerian player was so chosen, four other players from Africa including Senegalese Sadio Mane, Algerian Riyad Mahrez and Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made the 100 Best Football Players in the World for 2019.
The other player on the list is current African Footballer of the Year, Egyptian Mohamed Salah, regarded as the best on the continent as he finished in third position behind his Liverpool’s teammate Virgil Van Dijk and Messi.
“The best players deliver when it matters most; the truly elite do it consistently. Mo has accomplished that ever since he moved to Liverpool in 2017, and now he has a Champions League crown to show for it. He kept his cool to score a penalty in the final against Tottenham, and kept his name on the Premier League Golden Boot,” the magazine said about Salah.
Salah’s teammate at Liverpool Mane, who is bookies favourite for the 2019 African Footballer of the Year, finished 10th while Aubameyang and Mahrez respectively finished in 37th and 75th position.