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Ballon d’Or

Africa's Highest-Ranked Players In Ballon d'Or History

With Africa famously only having one Ballon d'Or winner to date, Mohamed Salah's sixth place in this year's edition was the fourth-highest finish by an African in Golden Ball history.

Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see the highest-ranked African players in Ballon d'Or history.

Salah broke records left, right and centre during his debut season at Liverpool, and was named the 2017 CAF African Footballer of the Year as a consequence.

His exploits were also acknowledged on the international stage, with the Egyptian receiving more Ballon d'Or votes than the likes of Neymar, N'Golo Kante, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Raphael Varane.

He finished in sixth place in the final 2018 Ballon d'Or ranking, receiving 188 points, while his teammate Sadio Mane ended up in joint-22nd spot with three points.

Salah is only the fifth African to be voted into the top 10 in Ballon d'Or history, bettering Riyad Mahrez's seventh-place finish in 2016.

Samuel Eto'o, who finished in fifth position in 2009, and Didier Drogba, who just missed out on the podium with his fourth-place finish in 2007, were the only other two Africans, along with 1995 winner George Weah, who finished in higher positions than Salah.

In 1995, the Ballon d'Or, which was originally only for players from Europe, was expanded to include players from any origin plying their trade for European clubs, and Weah became the first non-European to lift the prestigious Golden Ball. The Liberian beat Jurgen Klinsmann and Jari Litmanen to the award following his great performances for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan.

Read: Final 2018 Ballon d'Or Ranking Revealed, Messi Only Fifth

In 2007, the award was opened to all players worldwide.

Note: Only the highest finishes of the respective player is mentioned. Drogba, for example, also finished in eighth place in 2006 and ninth position in 2009.

Do you think another African can lift the Ballon d'Or? Have your say in the comments section below.


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