Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and the last 25 African Footballers of the Year - in pictures

Winner of the annual award set to be announced in Morocco with former Liverpool teammates in final three

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Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are set to go head-to-head once again on Thursday when the African Footballer of the Year is announced at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards in Rabat.

The attacking pair enjoyed a memorable club campaign with Liverpool going close to winning an unprecedented quadruple. Jurgen Klopp's side lifted both the League Cup and FA Cup only to finish runners-up in both the Premier League and Champions League – to Manchester City and Real Madrid, respectively.

At the end of the season, Salah signed a new deal with the Merseyside club while Mane felt the time was right for a move and joined Bundelsiga champions Bayern Munich.

On the international front, the duo have engaged in an intense rivalry, with Salah's Egypt taking on Mane and Senegal in epic matches in the Africa Cup of Nations final and World Cup finals eliminator.

And it was Mane who came out of both encounters victorious. Senegal secured their first Africa Cup of Nations title in February when Mane converted from the spot to win a penalty shoot-out 4-2, after the match finished goalless after extra-time.

If that wasn't heartbreak enough for Salah and Egypt, the two teams clashed again for a place in this year's World Cup finals in Qatar.

Egypt won the first leg 1-0, thanks to Salah's goal, only for Senegal to repeat the scoreline in the second leg to send the match into another shoot-out. Once again it was left to Mane to score the decisive penalty as Senegal won the latest spot-kick duel 3-1 in Dakar.

Senegal's Sadio Mane under pressure from Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the World Cup qualifier at Cairo International Stadium in March, 2022. AFP

The Senegalese successes have made Mane favourite to win a second straight African Footballer of the Year award after 2019 – the last two editions were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The original shortlist also included: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Manchester City), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon and Lyon), Naby Keita (Guinea and Liverpool), Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast and Borussia Dortmund), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco and Paris Saint-Germain), Edouard Mendy (Senegal and Chelsea) and Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal and Napoli, now Chelsea).

This has now been whittled down to Mane, Salah and Mendy.

In the gallery above, you can see the last 25 winners of the trophy. To move on to the next image, click on the arrows, or if you're using a mobile device, simply swipe.

Updated: July 21, 2022, 4:01 AM
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