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Khama Billiat Speaks on CAF Nomination

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WARRIORS and Mamelodi Sundowns star Khama Billiat says he is delighted to have been nominated among the continent’s elite after being shortlisted for the 2016 African Player of the Year award for the first time in his career.

Sports Reporter 

Speaking to Kickoff.com, Billiat says being selected among great players like Riyad Mahrez, Samuel Eto’o and reigning winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang alone it’s an honour and a great achievement.

“It’s a privilege for me, just being nominated. God has taken me to a level where I can be recognised for my work, and it means everything to me. Everyone who was nominated deserves to be there, as they’ve managed to get recognised… but it really means a lot to me.”

“I have to give credit to God – I’ve never been in a situation where I have been on the pitch for two years with no injuries, having gone through those setbacks before,” he told Kickoff.

Zimbabwe’s midfield maestro Khama Billiat stole the show with three major gongs at the PSL awards ceremony at Emperors Palace this year.

Billiat walked away with the Premiership Players’ Player award, Midfielder of the Season and Footballer of the Season awards.

Besides scooping three PSL Prestigious Awards, Billiat played an instrumental role in the Brazilians’ stellar season, where they clinched the Premiership title and Telkom Knockout Cup.

The 26-year-old was in sensational form for Sundowns – contributing 13 goals and 20 assist in the season.

He also helped the warriors to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Billiat can add to his bulging trophy cabinet this year should Sundowns hold on to their 3-0 Champions League first leg advantage when they take on Zamalek in the second leg tie on Sunday evening.

The list also includes the likes of Leicester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez, Samuel Eto’o, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Victor Wanyama, Sadio Mane and numerous other international superstars.

CAF Player of the Year nominees:

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)

El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb)

Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)

Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor)

Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient)

Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG)

Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)

Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune)

Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)

Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)

Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham)

Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham)

William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)

Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)

John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)

Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City)

Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)

Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton)

Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)

Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)

Keagan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)

Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)

Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia)

Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland)

Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)

CAF Player of the Year – Based in Africa

Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)

Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

Joel Kimwaki (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & AS Vita)

Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe)

Ali Gabr (Egypt & Zamalek)

Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Jackson Mwanza (Zambia & Zesco United)

Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe)

Elia Meschak (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

Aymen Hefny (Egypt & Zamalek)

Morgan Betorangal (Chad & MO Bejaia)

Hlompho Kekana (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Hamza Lahmar (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

Jesse Were (Kenya & Zesco United)

Idris Mbombo (DR Congo & Zesco United)

Chisom Chikatara (Nigeria & Wydad Athletic Club)

William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)

Reda Hajhouj (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (Congo & Wydad Athletic Club)

Mfon Udon (Nigeria & Enyimba)

Bassem Morsi (Egypt & Zamalek)

Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)

Yannick Zakri (Cote d’Ivoire & Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief www.sportbrief.co.zw. He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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