The national soccer team, Taifa Stars, captain Mbwana Samatta is thrilled with being shortlisted by Caf for the 2017 African Player of the Year award.
The 24-year-old’s name is among 30 nominees, which also includes Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who won the award in 2015, and Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool),
Speaking to Goal, the former TP Mazembe forward said he was chuffed with the recognition and believes it’s a step in the right direction for his career.
“I am so delighted to see my name among the nominees,” the gifted forward, who featured for Mainland giants Simba before joining DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, said.
He added: “I am now believing that, slowly, my efforts are fruitful and my dreams will be real soon.
“I think my fellow Tanzanian players can learn something from this.”
Samatta featured and limped off for Genk in the 0-0 draw against Lokeren in the First Division A in Belgium on Saturday.
He now remains doubtful for an international friendly match between Taifa Stars and Benin in Cotonou on November 12.
“I am now waiting for a statement from my club’s doctor and then I will know if I can join Taifa Stars for Benin game or not,” he said.
According to CAF, the winner will be decided by votes from head coaches and technical directors of the national associations affiliated to the confederation, members of the CAF technical and development committee and a panel of media experts.
“The Awards gala will be held on January 4, 2018 in Accra, Ghana.