Aurier gets African honour
Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier was given a major boost before he headed off to represent Côte d'Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 as he was named in the African Team of the Year.
At the African Football Confederation's annual awards ceremony in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday, Aurier was selected in a back four that also included former Toulouse FC and AS Monaco centre-back Aymen Abdennour.
Ex-AS Saint-Étienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who finished runner-up to Leicester City's former Havre AC man Riyad Mahrez for the Player of the Year honour, was also selected.
Aurier has also been named in coach Michel Dussuyer's squad for the CAN, which starts on 14 January in Gabon. Côte d'Ivoire, the reigning champions, will face Togo, DR Congo and Morocco in Group C of the competition.
African Team of the Year: Denis Onyango (Uganda - Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA) - Serge Aurier (Côte d’Ivoire - Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia - Valencia/ESP), Eric Bailly (Côte d’Ivoire - Villarreal/ESP then Manchester United/ENG), Joyce Lomalisa (Democratic Republic of Congo - Vita/COD) - Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe - Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia - TP Mazembe/DRC), Keagan Dolly (South Africa - Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA) - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon - Dortmund/GER), Sadio Mané (Senegal - Southampton/ENG then Liverpool/ENG), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria - Leicester/ENG)
Substitutes: Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia - Etoile du Sahel/TUN), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal - Napoli/ITA), Salif Coulibaly (Mali - TP Mazembe/COD), Islam Slimani (Algeria - Sporting/POR then Leicester/ENG), Mohamed Salah (Egypt - Roma/ITA), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria - Manchester City/ENG), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria - Arsenal/ENG)