Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has been named in the African Team of the Year, 2018 made up by the Ballon d’Or award sponsors France Football.
The Leicester City star features in midfield alongside Ghanaian Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey and Morocco international Hakim Ziyech in the Best XI.
Notably, 2015 African Player of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not named in the XI as the Gabonese Arsenal striker was featured on the substitutes list.
On Ndidi, France Football noted:
“He is certainly not the most spectacular player of this selection or even Leicester. But in his record, the former defensive midfielder Genk has also settled in the midfield and statistics in the Premier League are exceptional, both in terms of tackles than balls recovered. As such, the young Nigerian was named by the CAF among the best hopes of the year. At 21, his club has extended it (his contract) until 2024 but he is not sure he has totally secured his super middle.”
The midfielder made 46 appearances in all competitions for club and country the past year, registering two goals and three assists.
France Football’s African Best XI of 2018:
Andre Onana – Cameroon, Ajax
Yousef Atal – Algeria, Nice
Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal, Napoli
Manu Da Costa – Morocco, Istanbul
Achraf Hakimi – Morocco, Dortmund
Thomas Partey – Ghana, Atletico Madrid
Wilfred Ndidi – Nigeria, Leicester City
Hakim Ziyech – Morocco, Ajax
Riyad Mahrez – Algeria, Man City
Sadio Mane – Senegal, Liverpool
Mohamed Salah – Egypt, Liverpool
Samatta (Tanzania, Genk), Gana Gueye (Sénégal, Everton), Pépé (Côte d’Ivoire, Lille), Aubameyang (Gabon, Arsenal), Bounou (Morocco, Girona), Badri (Tunisia, Espérance), Toko Ekambi (Cameroon, Villarreal).