This year’s Marc Vivien-Foé Prize for the best African Ligue 1 player of the season was awarded to Olympique de Marseille’s Congolese defender Chancel Mbemba. Presented by FRANCE 24 and Radio France Internationale, the award is a particularly big accolade for Mbemba as this is the first time it has been given to a defender.
The 28-year-old Mbemba has become a crucial defensive linchpin at Marseille after spells at Anderlecht, Newcastle and Porto – even scoring seven goals in 43 appearances after coming into his own at the southern French club.
He is the second Marseille player to win the award after André Ayew in 2015 and the second Congolese player to take the prize after Gaël Kakuta in 2021.
Mbemba triumphed over two other formidable finalists – last year’s winner of the prize, RC Lens’s Ivorian midfielder Seko Fofana, and Nigerian striker Terem Moffi of OGC Nice.
A group of nearly 100 journalists specialising in French and African football chose the winner from a shortlist of 12 players drawn up by the sport departments of FRANCE 24 and RFI.
This annual award for the best African player in Ligue 1 has been named after Marc-Vivien Foé since 2011, in tribute to the Cameroonian player who died suddenly while playing for his country in a match against Colombia at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon on June 26, 2003. Players who have been capped for an African national team and played in at least 15 Ligue 1 matches over the past season are eligible for the prize.
2022: Seko Fofana (Ivory Coast)
2021: Gaël Kakuta (DR Congo)
2020: Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)
2019: Nicolas Pépé (Ivory Coast)
2018: Karl Toko-Ekambi (Cameroon)
2017: Jean Michaël Seri (Ivory Coast)
2016: Sofiane Boufal (Morocco)
2015: André Ayew (Ghana)
2014: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
2013: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
2012: Younès Belhanda (Morocco)
2011 : Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
2010: Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
2009: Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)
Source: France 24