Ogu Slams CAF’s Africa Best X1

Ogu Slams CAF’s Africa Best X1

Hapoel Beer Sheva midfield star, John Ogu, has slammed the Confederation of African Football, CAF, for leaving out two of his national teammates, Wilfred Ndidi and William Troost-Ekong from Africa’s Best X1 squad for 2018 reports Completesports.com.

The CAF Best X1 for 2018 list was made known at the CAF gala awards ceremony in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday with no Nigerian player making the shorlist – a decision which left Ogu bemused.

Ogu also questioned the inclusion of Juventus centre back Mehdi Benatia and Tottenham Hotspur’s right back Serge Aurier who were included in the four man defence line listed by CAF.

He also believes the the pair of Naby Keita and Thomas Partey didn’t fair better than Ndidi in 2018.

“Let’s put sentiment aside, I can argue this anywhere that @Ndidi25 ,@WTroostEkong, even @ighalojude all should be there. Award is based on your performance for club and country and not how big of a club you play in. Ndidi plays for arguably the best league in the world,”Ogu stated via his official Twitter handle.

“My brothers @Ndidi25 , @WTroostEkong. We are proud of you two. I see you guys everyday in the National team and I see how dedicated and motivated you both are. I’m super proud of you two. Never stop working . You guys are destined for the top.”

“Ekong, Ndidi had a better season for their clubs,Made it to the World Cup. Had a decent performance at the World Cup and you say clubs they play in?Aurier , Bailly,Keita all didn’t make it.”

Sorry to say this but @Ndidi25 should be here . My own opinion. Guys in that position didn’t do more than him.”

“[Mehdi] Benatia, [Serge] Aurier are not even regulars for their clubs.”

The Africa Best XI include: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns/Uganda), Serge Aurier (Tottenham/Ivory Coast), Medhi Benatia (Juventus/Morocco), Eric Bailly (Manchester United/Ivory Coast), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/Senegal).

Others are Naby Keita (Liverpool/Guinea), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid/Ghana), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City/Algeria); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon) and Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal).

Recall that Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been named the 2018 Aiteo African Player of the Year for a second successive time. He beat his Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the award.

By Johnny Edward.

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  • Austin 2 years ago

    I agree totally with you ogu. Partey was not at the world cup and had done little or nothing for his country Ghana both in their failed world cup qualifiers earlier last year 2018 and in the nations cup qualifiers. CAF had adjudged badly.

  • Michael Julian 2 years ago

    We all have known for long time, the ill treatment of Caf against Nigeria both in rating of our players and its judgements during Nation Cup competitions over the years. The so called Judges are jealous of Niaja. Nigeria and her people will always remain on top of African nations for life.

  • Ewaen 2 years ago

    I’m not a football administrator but it seems I more current than CAF.

    See where they place Kolibaily of Napoli, that is not his position and this is one of the most sorth after defenders in Europe.
    Ndidi was the best tackling midfield in the EPL the whole of last season, I begin to wonder.

    No mid to go all out blazing, I rest my case

  • Luomo 2 years ago

    Lets admit that CAF often times are biased in their selection of the best players,this is also an evidence that the level of footballers has gone really down in Africa..gone where the days when we use to have like 4 to 5 players in the CAF 11 but this days we struggle to get just 1 in there..truth be told for now only Ndidi deserved to be in that team…Ekong before his move to Udinese was warming the bench in lowly Bursaspor..fans across Africa voted and selected the players selected..what does this tell us..our players are no more reckoned with like they use to in the days of the Okochas,Kanus,Amokachi,Taribo and co..its basically naija fans that reckon with naija players this days..gone are the days when 9ja will go for away games the away fans will be ego tripping

    • Jones 2 years ago

      You are talking off point. Who told you Ekong was a bench warmer in Turkey? If he was indeed a bench warmer then a club from the top 5 leagues in Europe wouldn’t have snagged him up.

    • Chima E Samuels 2 years ago

      Luomo spot on. Jones you have a nice name please always be fair and neutral in your judgement so I can be a fan of yours! Football is played with wisdom not by force my brother else African and Senegal will always be champions even at beach football when it comes to World Cup Senegal is squarely beaten by more technical team despite their physique!

      • Luomo 2 years ago

        Nigerians we are funny lots..we have several other African players in la liga,serie A and the french league,even the premiership who were not considered also..apart from Ndidi who i still maintain stands out exceptionally..none of our other players have been extremely exceptional so far..when we clearly dominated the scene why didnt we say CAF was biased..it shows our quality..for example in the top 5 leagues we dont even have a player who is among the top 5 goalscoreers..other Africans have players at top club..the only player we have at a top club Iwobi who is a beneficiary of the youth system is only struggling to be consistent..I pray chukwueze remains focused..thats another player that would get to the top..so for nw lets admit it that we aint just there

    • Luomo, you have a point though. We as Super Eagles fans get carried away (quite rightly in my view) with our players however international observers do not currently hold many of them in the esteemed position that the generations of the likes of Kanu, Okocha, Taribo West, Yakubu and Finidi George were held at various points.

      I wrote recently that we have far too many “potential” in the Super Eagles at the moment. That is why Rohr continues to refer to his team as “young” – young in age, young and promising in abilities.

      Listen, when it comes to raw abilities, the likes of Moses Simon, Onyekuru, Iwobi and Iheanacho are among some of the best forwards in the world in my view. However, chronic inconsistency has robbed many of our players in slots similar to the team that is the subject of the article above.

      Our players are terrific, really they are, but they just don’t do it consistently enough.

      For example:

      Ighalo: followed up a fantastic season in England with a very very poor one before going to China.

      Iheanacho: followed up a scintillating season in Man City with indifferent seasons in Leicester

      Iwobi: Okocha-like performance in one match, Eddy Dombraye-like performance in another.

      Our players are just not showing their qualities consistently enough…..

      • Luomo 2 years ago

        God bless you deo..the earlier we agree to this the better..we perform collectively as a team but truth is we are average…this rants coming from a player like Ogu to me is uncalled for..instead of ranting why dont they do the talkin om the field by improving on their perfoemances and remain consistent and thereby getting better offers..a commenter told him (Ogu) on instagram yesterday to work on playing in bigger clubs he responded by saying everything is predetermined by God..was he trying to Say the likes of Sallah,Mane,,Kolulibaly also got to where they are cos it was predetermined or was it not that hardwork and consistency was part of the reasons they moved higher

      • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

        Hahahahah @ Deo…..You just got me cranking with the mention of Eddy Dombraye. Tunde Disu must still be scratching his head as to why he chose him to lead the lines at Nig ’99. It was the less fancied ‘rejected stone’ Julius Aghahowa then of Insurance of Benin that ended up becoming the ‘corner stone’

    • Ekong was never a bench- warmer while in Turkey , he was actually a regular player and that was why Udinese signed him @ Oluomo

      • Greenturf 2 years ago

        @Austin about a few weeks to the end of the season he lost his starting spot and was on the bench only get a few minutes as late substitute but has done so well over the season plus national team success which was enough to get the Italians looking.

  • Luomo 2 years ago

    *Nigerian footballers

  • My response on twitter to the storm:

    “I honestly believe that Keita, Aurier and Bailly’s inclusions were political, as an inducement for Guinea and Ivory Coast to agree to shift their AFCON hosting dates. I cannot think of any other reason why either of these are in the list.”

    All three are not regulars for their teams and none appeared at the world cup (the highest level of football). When was the last time anyone heard Bailly or Aurier’s name during a football match??

    Ndidi, Troost and even Iwobi would’ve been better in that team. I don’t know what Benatia was doing in there either. Just to make it clear:

    Bailly – Bench
    Aurier – Bench
    Benatia – Bench
    Keita – Bench
    Partey – Bench

    None regular starters for their teams.

    Nigerian players have to be ten times better than another African player just to get half the recognition, whether it is jealousy or it is envy or plain discrimination because we “are expected to be the best” is anyone’s guess.

    And no, its not about big clubs either otherwise Onana of Cameroon and Ajax would’ve been chosen over Onyango of Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns (Onyango deserves it by the way)

  • Chuky 2 years ago

    There will always be sentiments with these francophone countries when it comes to this selection, how can they tell me keita did better than ndidi from last season until now, and some of the players mentioned there did not even play up to 20 games last season for their clubs, shame on you caf officials…

  • I think there’s a bit of jealousy from African countries against Nigeria. I’m still trying to understand it. And I’m not just talking about Ghana (these ones will support any team playing against Nigeria, and they did so in the last AWCON, cheering SA against the Falcons). Also Cameroun, these ones would rather die on the field of play, rather than lose to Nigeria. SA fans practically hate Nigeria. Just visit kickoff.com. I’ve been to Zambian football sites too, the fans don’t like Nigeria. They’d prefer Ghana to win a competition, rather than Nigeria. Same with Kenya, Angola etc. French-speaking countries don’t like us either.

    What’s my point? Since it is football fans in Africa that vote for CAF 11, Nigerians should not expect any of their super stars on that list anytime soon, except the player’s talent is out of this world or he does something super spectacular. ONLY NIGERIAN FANS (and maybe Beninese, Togolese, Sierra Leone, other smaller African countries and North African fans) CAN VOTE NIGERIAN STARS at the moment.

    Nigeria may not have EPL match winners like Aubameyang, Salah and Mane, but which African team currently boasts a large collection of young and talented Europe-based stars as Nigeria? Nigeria is the only African team that benches or even drops top Euro-based stars like Isaac Success (Watford), Kelechi (Leicester), Onyekuru (Galatasaray), and Aina (Torino). Which other African team has so much riches at its disposal?

  • Luomo

    An example of how I rate players:

    95 – 85 percent (world class): Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and Neymar

    85 – 75 percent (high quality): Salah, Mane, Harry Kane and Sterling

    75 – 65 percent (quality): Mahrez, Jesus, Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli

    65 – 55 percent (good): Iwobi, Ndidi, Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu

    55 – 45 percent (average): Ogu, Agu, Balogun, Semi Ajayi,

    45 – below (basic): Alex Ngonga, Boko Kokouvi, Blaise Tokou

  • Asoko Emmanuel 2 years ago

    First and foremost,I’ll start by saying Nigerian players are some of the most intelligent and technically gifted in the world.Sentiment aside even the Europeans will tell u that.Iwobi is regarded the 4th most intelligent passer of the ball only behind Messi,Neima d 3rd i cant remember.This season already he’s considered as the player with the highest nutmeg on the pitch ahead of Hazard.
    The issue is not whether Nigeria players are the best in African,the question is whether those in the list as presently constituted are the best Africa can offer,my response is a big NOOOOOOO.Why on earth will Bailly,Benatia,Auriel and Partey be ahead of Indidi Iwobi and Ekong,that is the biggest lie of the century.Partey was a perpetual bench warmer in AM and only coming on once in while for a cameo.Cant remember the last time I saw Benatia in the starting line of the old lady.And Bailey,aaabababa was injured better part of last season while Ekong was firing on all cylinders in Turkey (a confirmation the insinuation that he was warming bench is not true and a gross misconception of fact).Auriel’s performance last season can not compare to that of Ola Aina in Championship.
    I can site examples over and over again.Indidi was rated as one of the best midfielders in the entire Europe last season.Now tell me how can one be good for Europe but not Africa.Aside that, u can see that CAF is blowing hot and cold, while Indidi,Ekong,Igalo and Iwobi made top 10 list of the African footballer of the year and Iwobi making the top4 shortlist they are considered not good for the team of the year.You see it makes mockery of the whole process and making us look unserious to the rest of the world.The rest of the list am ok with but the aforemention am far from being impressed.

  • Edoman of NewJersey, USA 2 years ago

    How come Ndidi was named African best in France a week or two ago and not even mentioned among the African eleven ?

    Lets patch the CAF selected African X1 squad with any of the World Continentals and see how that would come out.

    Shame on you CAF. You all are good for nothing. No one in the World takes Africa serious.

    On what basis would CAF says that “Iwobi of Nigeria” is not qualify to be among the African first XI ?

  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    In my opinion this selection was made based on players at major clubs in Europe.
    Apparently,a bench warmer for Manchester United is adjudged better than a starter for Udinese.
    However,this is done to brand the best of Africa as some of the best in Europe.
    Though this players on the list are not entirely bench warmers they get a good run of games in their team

  • I’ve read each comment here with interest. What I surmise is that CAF is gradually implementing a scheme to punish Nigeria. It had been doing it in a sneaky way all along, and without protest from Nigeria. Now, CAF is embolden, there being no protest whatsoever from Nigeria. Legitimate goals scored by Nigeria are cancelled.  Now world ranking Nigerian players are ignored. And NFF keeps dumb. Do we expect CAF to suddenly sit up? 

    One would think that NFF had been instructed not to protest when NIGERIA is treated unfairly. CAF can take any obnoxious decision against us, knowing that no one will protest. Is that the stance of other national football associations? When we fielded an ineligible player against Algeria, did they smile and keep quiet, even if they knew they had slim chances of qualifying?

    It would be too optimistic, maybe foolhardy (I apologise for this strong term) to expect fair treatment from CAF if we sweep every injustice under the carpet.  Didn’t football evolve from England? Ndidi plays in England and is dreaded as a tenacious midfielder who maintains the chain of play (ball passer) , but isn’t good enough for Africa? Nigeria deserves 4 slots … another day. 

  • @Asoko. ..thumb up for u.  We Nigerians know that we under performed last year truly but what about the players on the list? Ekong and indidi were once selected as potential winners but….well.. I don’t care about the list. All I want is the African CUP

  • Asoko Emmanuel 2 years ago

    ACHI,tank you for your sensible comment.Do u know i expected NFF to protest the wrongful cancellation of those two goal against SA? I still haven’t heard anything till date.Senegal vehemently resisted a similar attempt by S.A. CAF to rob them at the world cup qualifiers when a fiticious penalty was awarded,the rest of the story we know.You see some of us feel that we r sentimental about our footballers,the truth be told they r good,though not the best yet but they r not doing badly.With much confidence I can say the era of 1994 is gradually coming up we must appreciate them.

  • EMMANUEL 2 years ago

    What i did not understand is how CAF, made their selection base on the AFRICA BEST 11? because to me there is some few players who made it at the first 11, who have not been playing regular in their previous club and they left players who are playing week in week out. Benatia, Morroco of Juventus, is not a regular, Bailly and Keita are both not a regular in their various club. Winfred Ndidi, is a regular in his club even to the extend that EPL ,rated him ahead on KONTE, SO MY QUESTION IS WHAT IS THEIR CRITERIA FOR MAKING THEIR SELECTION COS THIS SEEMS TO ME AS BAISED ?.

  • Abdul andah 2 years ago

    Amaju Melvin Pinnick it’s high time you woke up from your slumber because when a horse birthed a child its supposed stretch its body with less burden. I hope you will understand that.

    • Edoman of NewJersey, USA 2 years ago

      Yes !!!! Amaju, my son. We sent you to school to learn how to spell John bull.

      Well, South Africa rubbed us of two goals . No response.
      2) CAF denied and ignored us in the face of our superiors players. Again, no response.

      How long can Nigerians wait before they start to advocating your withdrawal from the School they laboriously sent you to.?????