THE GOLDEN BOOT
In the most exciting end to an English Premier League season in years, Africa’s golden boys came out on top, sharing the Golden Boot for the season’s top scorer. Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Egypt’s Mo Salah all finished the season on 22 goals, each being presented with the famous trophy.
REPRESENTING AFRICA GLOBALLY
Arsenal’s Aubameyang’s first reaction to the award was to celebrate this African achievement. He commented that “We are representing Africa, so it is a good sign for the continent”. He clearly feels a connection with his fellow African players too, also responding “I am sharing this trophy with Mané and Salah. I like these two guys”.
It was Liverpool star Salah’s second golden boot and he joked about this on Twitter, posting an image of him showing his daughter the trophy with the caption “Yes, I know we have one at home. This is a new one”. Salah is only the 3rd African player to win the Golden Boot in back-to-back seasons in Europe’s top 5 leagues, joining two other African legends who have achieved the feat. Ghana’s Tony Yeboah did it with Frankfurt in Germany in 1993 and 1994 and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o managed it in 2005 and 2006 with Spain’s Barcelona.
THE AFRICA CUP’S STAR PLAYERS
Amazingly, at the other end of the pitch, the top two tacklers in the Premier League were also both African players. Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi edged Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye with 144 tackles to his 143. All of this makes next month’s African Cup of Nations, hosted in Salah’s home country of Egypt, an even more promising prospect. The tournament gets under way on the 21st June and will see 24 of Africa’s best teams compete for a place in the final on 19th July.