Wednesday October 30 2019
Koulibaly: 'Proud of Ballon d'Or nod'

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is proud at his 2019 Ballon d'Or nomination and African football's progress. "We've dreamed about it for years."

Koulibaly, 28, spoke to Algerian website Le Buteur about his close friend Faouzi Ghoulam, charity work and his presence in the 50-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or award.

"The fact that there are several African nominations (for the Ballon d'Or) shows the enourmous progress African football is making," said the Senegal international.

"Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Mohamed Salah, all great players. I would add Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, so we have a generation of phenomenons. I support Mane."

Koulibaly also talked at length about his relationship with left-back Ghoulam, who has struggled to reach the levels he was at before his ACL injury in November 2017.

"Ghoulam and I are like brothers. He is an introverted person, but he is always concerned about others and helps the poor.

"This initiative (bringing Algerian children to the San Paolo) is in line with his character, a very nice move on his part."

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