Algerian international, Riyad Mahrez was ranked seventh in the Ballon d’Or ranking released on Monday evening. The only other African player listed was reigning African player of the year, Gabonese skipper, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, he was ranked 11th.
The pair were ranked ahead of other players like Manchester United duo of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) and world’s most expensive player, Paul Pogba of France.
Mahrez who plies his club trade with English Premier League (PL) side Leicester City, helped the foxes to a fairytale PL trophy last season and was named the best footballers player of the year last season. Mahrez was on Monday named the BBC’s African footballer of the year.
Aubameyang on the other hand is the reigning African footballer of the year, an award that he has been shortlisted for along with four others. He is also expected to lead Gabon in January’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on home soil.
Other players they ranked ahead of included Robert Lewandowski of Poland and Spain’s Sergio Ramos who was in the shortlist but was not classified because he did not receive a vote. Another shocker in the non-classified category was Manchester City and Argentine international, Sergio Aguero.
At the end of the day, the top award went to Cristiano Ronaldo who has thus won his fourth Ballon d’Or trophy, only one behind his sworn rival, Lionel Messi. The Argentine came in second with France and Athletico’s Antoine Griezmann placing third.
The full ranking of the 2016 Ballon d’Or
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal / Real Madrid)
2. Lionel Messi (Argentina / Barcelona)
3. Antoine Griezmann (France / Atletico Madrid)
4. Luis Suarez (Uruguay / Barcelona)
5. Neymar (Brazil / Barcelona)
6. Gareth Bale (Wales / Real Madrid)
7. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria / Leicester City)
8. Jamie Vardy (England / Leicester City)
9. Pepe (Portugal / Real Madrid)
9. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy / Juventus)
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon / Borussia Dortmund)
12. Rui Patricio (Portugal / Sporting Lisbon)
13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden / Manchester United)
14. Arturo Vidal (Chile / Bayern Munich)
14. Paul Pogba (France / Manchester United)
16. Robert Lewandowski (Poland / Bayern Munich)
17. Dimitri Payet (France / West Ham)
17. Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid)
17. Toni Kroos (Germany / Real Madrid)
The 11 unclassified players who received no votes were
Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Paulo Dybala, Diego Godin, Gonzalo Higuain, Andres Iniesta, Koke, Hugo Lloris, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Sergio Ramos.