Mikel, Drogba, Song nominated for African Footballer of the Year

Mikel Obi
Mikel Obi

The top three players will be named in the last week of November.


Nov. 5 (PREMIUM TIMES) —Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mkel, has been nominated for the African footballer of the year award by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

Mikel was nominated alongside nine other top African footballers for the prestigious award. Some of the other nominees include Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire, Samuel Eto of Cameroon, and last year’s winner, Yaya Toure also of Cote d’Ivoire. CAF will announce the final shortlist of three from the 10 ten nominees in the last week of November. Drogba and Yaya Toure are considered top contenders for the award. The last time a Nigerian won the award was in 1999 when it was won by Kanu Nwankwo. Other previous Nigerian winners include Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amunike, and Victor Ikpeba. No Nigerian footballer has made the top three shortlist for almost a decade, the last being Austin Okocha who came third in 2004. The CAF will also announce five nominees for the award of Africa-based Player of the Year. The Federation’s Technical, Football, and Media committees decided on the current shortlists which will now be passed on to head coaches and technical directors from CAF member associations whose votes will decide the eventual winners. Yaya Toure was voted 2011 African Player of the Year while Tunisian Oussam Darragi, was crowned last year’s African Player of the Year- Based in Africa. The winners for 2013 will be unveiled at a ceremony on December 20 in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. Other awards will also be given at the ceremony.

African Player of the Year

Top Ten Players List

Alexander Song

Date of Birth: 09 September 1987

Club: Barcelona (Spain)

Country: Cameroon

Cameroon born international was voted in second place as Arsenal player of the season by the fans. The defensive midfielder had a hand in vital goals scored by Arsenal in 2011-2012 season. He left Arsenal for Barcelona in August 2012 after 204 appearances and ten goals for Arsenal. He is a member of the Cameroon national team.

Andre Ayew

Date of Birth: 17 December 1989

Club: Marseille (France)

Country: Ghana

The Ghanaian winger played 39 times for his French side Marseille and scored on 16 occasions in 2011- 2012 season. He was part of Black Stars team that reached the semi-finals of the 2012 AFCON finals before finishing fourth overall. He has already scored four goals in 12 matches for his club in the current 2012-2013 season.

Christopher Katongo

Date of Birth: 31 August 1982

Club: Henan Construction (China)

Country: Zambia

The Zambian national team captain led his charges to their country’s first African title at 2012 Gabon- Equatorial Guinea finals. The striker was voted the Player of the Tournament at 2012 AFCON finals. Katongo has continued to score crucial goals for Zambia in both qualifiers for 2013 AFCON and 2014 FIFA World Cup. He has scored 19 goals in 74 appearances for Zambia to this day.

Demba Ba

Date of Birth: 25 May 1985

Club: for Newcastle United (England)

Country: Senegal

The Senegalese striker scored 16 goals in 36 appearances for Newcastle United in the English Premiership. His goals in the qualifiers helped Senegal reach 2012 AFCON finals. Demba Ba was voted the best signing of 2011-2012 season by managers in English Premiership. He finished club top goal-scorer and has so far scored 6 goals in 7 games in the new 2012-2013 season.

Didier Drogba

Date of Birth: 11 March 1978

Club: Shanghai Shenhua (China)

Country: Cote d’Ivoire

The Ivorian striker had an eventful 2011-2012 season with both club and country. He scored the equalizer and winning penalty to give Chelsea the European Champions League title and missed a penalty in 2012 AFCON final during regulation time. His goals took Ivory Coast into 2012 AFCON finals were they finished up second to Zambia. Scored the winning goal in FA cup final for Chelsea in what became his last season with the English club before he signed for Shanghai Shenhua in China.

Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi (Gervinho)

Date of Birth: 17 May 1987

Club: Arsenal (England)

Country: Cote d’Ivoire

The Ivorian striker was part of the national side that reached 2012 AFCON final and it was his goal from a solo run from his own half that beat Mali in the semi-final. His club performance was unfortunately not matched by his national success in 2011-2012 season but he has started 2012-2013 club season with a bang, scoring four goals in 6 games.

John Obi Mikel

Date of Birth: 8 January 1982

Club: Chelsea (England)

Country: Nigeria

The Nigerian midfielder scored more success with club than country winning European Champions League and an FA title with Chelsea. The success was however not replicated at national level and Obi’s Nigeria failed to make it to 2012 AFCON finals.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Date of Birth: 18 June 1989

Club: Saint Etienne (France)

Country: Gabon

The Gabonese striker has had an impressive season with both club and country. His goal to co-hosts Gabon to the quarter finals of 2012 AFCON. He finished joint top goal scorer in that competition with 3 goals and his 18 goals from 38 matches for Saint Etienne made him a favourite with club fans. He has scored 4 goals from 6 matches so far this season 2012-2013

Yaya Toure

Date of Birth: 13 May 1983

Club: Manchester City (England)

Country: Cote d I’voire

The Ivorian midfielder and reigning African Footballer of the year had another stellar season in 2011-2012. His box to box runs have become trade-mark for club and country and made Yaya an important player. He scored nine goals in 43 games for Manchester City and helped the club win the English Premiership title in 44 years. He was voted in the PFA Premier League team of the year 2011- 2012 season. With Ivory Coast Yaya was part of the team that blitzed its way to the 2012 AFCON finals before losing the final on penalties to Zambia. He scored in a 3-0 win over co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter finals.

Younes Belhanda

Date of Birth: 25 February 1990

Club: Montpellier (France)

Country: Morocco

The Moroccan player who plays as midfielder or winger had a brilliant 2011-2012 season with his French Ligue 1 side, Montpellier. He made 31 appearances and scored 13 times in a storming league campaign that ended with Montpellier crowned French champions. Belhanda was voted into the team of the season and won the award of the best Young player of the year 2011-2012 season. He was part of Morocco national team at 2012 AFCON finals and scored in a 1-0 win over Niger.

African Player of the Year – Based in Africa

Top 5 Players List

Mohamed Aboutreika

Date of Birth: November 7, 1978

Club: Al-Ahly (Egypt)

Country: Egypt

At 33, Aboutreika is still at his peak and is yet to lose his shine. Regarded a legend at Ahly, the influential midfielder has been the driving force behind the Egyptian giants continental campaign this term. His hat-trick against Stade Malien at the 1/8th round sealed their passage into the mini-league stage. The veteran midfielder has scored six times in their campaign this season. He also featured for the Egyptian team in their abortive campaign during the qualifying rounds of the CAN 2013.

Rainford Kalaba

Date of Birth: August 14, 1986

Club: TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Country: Zambia

The petit midfielder was engine of the Zambian team that won the 2012

Africa Cup of Nations. The fact his colleagues call him ‘master’ is

not for nothing as he single-handedly carried the team on his tiny

shoulders, and no wonder he was named in the All Star team of the

tournament. Kalaba has maintained consistency as he remains the key

pillar of his club TP Mazembe. The midfielder is currently in the form

of his life as he is experiencing his best spell yet for club and


Stoppila Sunzu

Date of Birth: June 22, 1989

Club: TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Country: Zambia

One of more than five Zambian players with Congolese side TP Mazembe,

Stopilla has been in great form this year. He was one of the Zambia’s

best players in their triumph at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in

Gabon and Equatorial Guinea where he converted the final kick that

landed his team the trophy. After the tourney, he has featured

prominently in 2013 Orange CAN qualifiers and the 2014 FIFA World Cup

qualifiers. Stoppila has also been regular for his club, TP Mazembe.

Yannick N’Djeng

Date of Birth: March 11, 1990

Club: Esperance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia)

Country: Cameroon

N’Djeng has been phenomenal form this year for his club, Esperance.

The 22-year old scored 15-times in the Tunisian league as Esperance

cruised to the title. He has also been pivotal in the continental

campaign netting four times so far. He is in reckoning for the best

foreign player in Tunisia this season.

Yousse Msakni

Date of Birth: October 28, 1990

Club: Esperance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia)

Country: Tunisia

Msakni needs no introduction having signed up in grand style with the

Tunisian national team at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and

Equatorial Guinea. The youngster scored twice at the group phase as

the Tunisian team exited at the quarter final stage. He has maintained

his flying form for Esperance, scoring 17-goals as they clinched the

Tunisian Premier League title, finishing as top scorer. The 21-year

old has agreed to join Qatari side Lekhwiya next January in an Arab

record deal of 14 Million Euros.

The other categories for which winners will be announced on Awards

Gala are as following:


1. National Team of the Year


2. Women’s Footballer of the Year


3. Women’s National Team of the Year


4. Club of the Year


5. Most Promising Talent of the Year


6. Coach of the Year


7. Referee of the Year


8. Legend Award


9. Fair Play Award


10. Platinum Award


11. Africa Finest XI

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