Manchester United defender and Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly was named in Africa's Best XI at the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) 2018 awards in Dakar, Senegal, on Tuesday night.
Eric was paired in central defence with Morocco and Juventus defender Medhi Benatia in the XI, which comprises the best-performing African players in 2018.
The 24-year-old played five times for Ivory Coast throughout the last calendar year, scoring his first international goal in the 4-0 win over Central Africa Republic which helped Les Elephants qualify for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Bailly is one of only two Ivorians in the team, along with Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier.
Eric joins fellow Reds centre-back Victor Lindelof in receiving an accolade in his country, after he was named Sweden’s Player of the Year for 2018 in a ceremony in Stockholm back in November.
Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, Eric.
It is an honour to be selected in the 2018 African Team of the Year. Very happy to be one of the two Ivorians in the XI alongside my dear friend @Serge_Aurier. 🇨🇮— Eric Bailly (@ericbailly24) January 9, 2019
Feeling blessed for this award. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zS1xtO9lgn
Africa's Best XI in full: Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns); Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast & Tottenham), Medhi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli); Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atlético Madrid), Naby Keita (Guinea & Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool).
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