IT is time again to vote for the LaLiga Santander Mid Season African Most Valuable Player (MVP), as LaLiga celebrates the achievements of the wide range of exciting African players who have excelled in the Spanish top flight so far this season.
Reigning LaLiga Santander African MVP, Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou, underlined his star quality and world-class ability with a superb 2022 FIFA World Cup, playing a huge role in Morocco’s remarkable run to becoming the first African team to reach the tournament’s semi-final stage.
His phenomenal performances in Qatar will make him one of the favourites to retain the inaugural LaLiga African MVP Award he won last season, and he will be among the front runners again this season when voting begins in mid-January for the Mid Season MVP.
His Sevilla FC teammate and countryman, Youssef En-Nesyri, may not have scored in LaLiga Santander as yet this season, but his majestic towering header which knocked Portugal out of Qatar 2022 made global headlines.
Qatar 2022 was a milestone for African football and it was a milestone too for African players who ply their trade in LaLiga Santander, who are sure to feature prominently when LaLiga launches the African MVP Mid Season Award early in the new year.
Many of the African continent’s top football journalists will vote for their choice of Africa’s LaLiga Mid Season MVP, while there will also be a public vote across the continent and globally on LaLiga’s social media channels to select the winning player.
Voting for the LaLiga African Mid-Season MVP will open on Monday 16 January 2023 and close on Sunday 29 January 2023, in what is sure to be a hotly contested public vote.
There will then be another vote for the LaLiga Santander African MVP at the end of the season.
Athletic Bilbao’s Iñaki Williams is another LaLiga player who impressed in Qatar, putting in some strong performances in Ghana’s plucky World Cup showing, while his brother and Bilbao teammate, Nico, also impressed in Qatar, but won’t be eligible for the African MVP Award as he represented Spain.
Celta de Vigo’s Ghanaian centre-back, Joseph Aidoo, and Mozambique’s Atletico Madrid star defender Reinildo Mandava have played the most African LaLiga minutes, all playing 14 games and over 1200 minutes each in producing consistently solid performances this season.
Mandava has been particularly impressive as a mainstay in a star-studded Atletico Madrid side and has been touted as one of the future players Diego Simeone will build his squad around in future. His steely Central African Republic Atletico Madrid teammate, Geoffrey Kondogbia, has also gone about his business quietly and effectively in midfield this season.
Nigeria’s towering striker, Umar Sadiq, made a storming start to his LaLiga Santander career after his 20 million Euro move to Real Sociedad, scoring three goals in five games before unfortunately tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Getafe in September.
As for Getafe, one of the most long-serving and consistent African players, Togo’s Dakonam Djené, has again been at his metronomic best in 12 appearances in the heart of the Getafe defence this season.
Senegal trio, Pathé Ciss of Rayo Vallecano, Villareal winger Nicolas Jackson and Real Betis right back Youssouff Sabaly have also impressed with some consistent football in over 10 hours each on the pitch this season.
Marcos Pelegrin, LaLiga Southern Africa Managing Director said ahead of the voting: “We are excited about the wide array of African players from so many different countries who have excelled and made their mark on LaLiga Santander this season. The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup again showed the global strength of the LaLiga product, with the league producing the most players from any global league in the semi-final stage. We are especially proud of the African players who made their mark in Qatar – and also in LaLiga Santander thus far this season – and we are excited for the African MVP Award competition, which exceeded all our expectations in its first year and is set to be even bigger this season”.
Fans participating in the voting for the LaLiga Santander African MVP Award competition stand a chance to win a range of exciting LaLiga prizes.