Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang compete for African player award

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been shortlisted for the African player of the year along with Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 01 January 2019
0

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang compete for African player award

CAIRO: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are the three finalists for the African player of the year award in a repeat of last year’s shortlist.
The winner will be announced on Jan. 8 in Dakar, Senegal.
The Confederation of African Football announced the finalists on Tuesday from an original list of 34 players.
Egyptian international Salah is the current holder of the award after his goals played a large part in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final in 2018. Mane of Senegal finished ahead last time of Gabon’s Aubameyang, who was then with Borussia Dortmund.
This is the fifth straight nomination for Aubameyang, who won in 2015.
After a slow start to the season following the World Cup, Salah is hitting top form for Liverpool. He scored the winner against Napoli in December to send Liverpool through to the last 16 of the Champions League at the Italian club’s expense.
Salah has also found his scoring touch again in the Premier League, where he is challenging Aubameyang and Tottenham’s Harry Kane at the top of the scoring charts.
Aubameyang scored his 14th goal of the season Tuesday in Arsenal’s 4-1 win against Fulham, putting him one clear of Salah ahead of Liverpool’s match at Manchester City on Thursday.
Mane, who was third in 2016, is looking to becoming the first Senegalese winner of the trophy since forward El Hadji Diouf took the 2002 award.


Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

Updated 20 February 2019
0

Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

  • Five-time world champion feeling confident of a sixth crown ahead of new season.
  • Pre-season testing going well in Barcelona.

BARCELONA: Lewis Hamilton has warned his rivals they had better get ready to catch his dust as he is feeling “better than ever” ahead of the season.
The 34-year-old Briton enjoyed a near flawless run to secure his fifth drivers’ title last year. He won 11 of the 21 races to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with two races to spare, and he expects the Italian marque to once again keep him on his toes.
“Ferrari are very strong,” Hamilton said in Barcelona on the third day of pre-season testing.
“It appears they have a better package than last year, which means it will be a bigger challenge for us.
“In the last few years, Ferrari has looked good from the very beginning so that’s to be expected.”
But he said it would be a mistake to draw any hard and fast conclusions from the evidence thrown up by testing.
“We’ll have a better idea I guess this time next week where we stand but still then we won’t know what fuel loads everybody is on and who is showing their cars and who isn’t.”
Hamilton, with a new two-year deal that will earn him £40 million ($52 million) a season, is buzzing after the winter recess.
“I feel in the best shape that I’ve been in,” he assured his fans, as he embarks on his quest for a sixth championship and record sixth consecutive constructors’ crown for Mercedes.
On a sixth title he shrugged: “I am not even focusing on that. It’s a new season, a new year, a new chapter and we have to approach like it’s our first.
“We’re going for number one, that’s how I approach it.
“But it’s not something that I allow my peers to talk about. It’s not what we are here for to focus on that number.”
He dismissed out of hand any notion of complacency setting in at his all-conquering team.
“We are always driven to do something new and to break boundaries and do stuff that no one else has done before but we are fully aware of the work that it will take to deliver something like that and it’s by no means like ‘yeah we are going for the sixth’ like it’s a relaxed thing.
“It’s not like that.”
Hamilton’s bid for title number six begins at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17.