the finalists to succeed Kakuta

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On May 16, RFI and France 24 will reveal the name of the best African player in the French Football Championship (Ligue 1). Who will succeed the Congolese Gaël Kakuta, the last winner of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize? Here are the twelve finalists for the 2022 edition.

ABDELHAMID Yunis (Reims Stadium/Morocco)

Taulier of the Stade de Reims, club of which he is the oldest player (present since 2017) and the oldest (34 years old), the Moroccan defender is a regularity machine. Barring a physical glitch or suspension, he plays all the matches, with the captain’s armband of course. A safe bet for coach Oscar Garcia.

AGUERD Nayef (Stade Rennes/Morocco)

If Rennes is firmly established in the top five of Ligue 1, the Moroccan is no stranger to it. The Lion of the Atlas is unstoppable in central defense, where his stature imposes (1.88m, 76 kilos). With him, Stade Rennes has one of the best defenses in the championship.

BAYO Mohamed (Clermont Foot/Guinea)

The 23-year-old striker, top scorer in Ligue 2 (22 goals) last season, confirms this year during his first experience in Ligue 1. The Guinean has often been decisive with Clermont, allowing CF63 to dream of maintaining.

BOUFAL Sofiane (Angers SCO/Morocco)

After a first season disrupted by injuries and the Covid-19, the attacking midfielder has regained his smile and his football under the colors of Angers. Scorer and passer, the Moroccan flourishes with his training club, far from the mixed experience in England. Enough to win a second Marc-Vivien Foé title after that of 2016?

FOFANA Seko (RC Lens / Ivory Coast)

He finished 7th in the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2021. This year, the Ivorian has gained weight again with RC Lens, the club of which he is the captain. To the point of being considered one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1. At almost 27 years old, his future may lie elsewhere than in the North of France.

GUEYE Idrissa Gana (Paris Saint-Germain/Senegal)

In a game sector in constant evolution in Paris, the Senegalese brings his stone to the building. Versatile, the African champion is more involved in the offensive sector this season. This is not its primary function, but it is appreciated in the capital.

HAKIMI Achraf (Paris Saint-Germain/Morocco)

For Kylian Mbappé, he is the best right-back in the world. The Moroccan, recruited last summer against sixty million euros, is in any case an essential element of the most upscale club in France. Scorer, decisive passer, the former Madrid player does not neglect his tasks in defense.

KHAZRI Wahbi (Saint-Etienne/Tunisia)

Already captain in selection, the attacker was also promoted to Saint-Etienne: at the beginning of winter, the club, then in full discomfiture, entrusted him with the armband. With Pascal Dupraz as coach and the Tunisian as a natural and respected leader on the pitch, the Greens have regained hope in the race to maintain.

LEMINA Mario (OGC Nice/Gabon)

At 28, the Gabonese has already passed through Italy, England and Turkey. An experience that he puts forward in Nice, this season, where his technical accuracy and his slaughter are precious. The midfielder is in any case one of the great craftsmen of the beautiful season of the Nice club.

SIMON Moses (FC Nantes/Nigeria)

Fast, technical and confusing, the 27-year-old Nigerian winger brings a touch of unpredictability to the game at FC Nantes. More than a scorer, the Super Eagles are above all a decisive passer and a formidable dribbler. A profile that has become rare in Ligue 1.

TOKO-EKAMBI Karl (Olympique Lyonnais/Cameroon)

Untenable in the Europa League, Karl Toko-Ekambi is also valuable in the league. Despite his absence during the CAN, the Cameroonian is still one of the most used Lyonnais. After the one won in 2018, when he played in Angers, the Indomitable Lion is again seeking the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize.

TRAORÉ Hamari (Stade Rennes/Mali)

Announced on the departure last summer, the side finally stayed in Rennes and was even promoted to captain. Since then, the Malian has continued his momentum, chaining convincing performances in his right lane and multiplying the assists.

NB: players who have worn the colors of an African national team and who have not changed sporting nationality since, and who have played at least 15 matches in Ligue 1 this season are eligible for the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize.

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