Youcef BelailiBelaili can look back on a magnificent year, in which he clinched the Tunisian title with Esperance, the Caf Champions League, and the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria.
He was a key figure in all of these triumphs, notably netting the only goal of the game in the abandoned Caf CL final second leg against Wydad Casablanca in Rades.
At the Afcon, Belaili was a key figure for Les Fennecs, keeping Yacine Brahimi out of the side and scoring the winner against Senegal in the group stage, and the opener against Guinea in the Round of 16.
Belaili subsequently secured a move to Al-Ahli of Saudi Arabia.
Kodjo Fo-Doh LabaLaba ultimately ended the season without a major honour—or a place at the Africa Cup of Nations—but his goalscoring across the course of the season cannot go unrecognised.
He was second top scorer in the Caf Confederation Cup as Renaissance Berkane reached the final before being defeated by SC Zamalek on penalties, although Laba did score his sixth goal of the campaign in the first leg of the double-header.
Domestically, he ended the Botola campaign with 19 goals, ending the year as joint top scorer with Mouhcine Iajour and helping Berkane return to the Confed Cup.
The Togo international secured a move to Al Ain on the back of his magnificent form.
Themba ZwaneMamelodi Sundowns may have fallen short in the Champions League, where they were defeated 2-1 on aggregate by Wydad in the semi-final, but Zwane still boosted his reputation significantly during the campaign.
He netted five during the competition, including the opener in Downs’ 5-0 demolition of Al-Ahly at home in the quarter-final—one of the most memorable nights in the club’s history.
The 30-year-old also played a key role as the Brazilians retained their PSL title, and was rewarded with a spot in South Africa’s Nations Cup squad.
Franck KomContinuously overlooked by Cameroon, but Esperance fans need no convincing of Kom’s value after his consistent excellent during their run to a league and Champions League double.
The central midfielder’s dynamic and enterprising performances in the heart of the park were critical to the Tunisians’ success, while his partnership with another nominee, Fousseny Coulibaly, was one of Esperance’s great strengths.
Unfortunately, the 28-year-old has also departed African football, signing for Qatar’s Al Rayyan.
Tresor MputuA true living legend in the African game, Mputu excelled in the Caf Champions League last term, finishing joint second top scorer in the competition as Tout Puissant Mazembe reached the semi-finals.
Mputu rolled back the years to thrive at the elite end of African competition, forging a fine partnership with youngster Jackson Muleka to get the best out of the talented striker.
As well as clinching the Congolese title with Les Corbeaux, Mputu also secured a return to the Leopards squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, even if that campaign didn’t entirely go to plan.
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