A straight fight for Africa’s top individual prize in football is expected between Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama and Ivorian Yaya Toure on Thursday when the 2014 Glo/CAF Awards takes center-stage in Lagos, Nigeria.
Though three players are actually in the run having made the final shortlist, the consensus amongst a vast majority is either Enyeama or Toure will emerge the African footballer of the year.
As expected, opinions have been divided on who the crown fits better as some argue that Enyeama has made more impact on the continent while Toure’s exploit is more in the EPL where he stars for big spenders Manchester City.
Amongst many others, the duo of Joseph Dosu and Mutiu Adepoju, both of them former Super Eagles stars, told PREMIUM TIMES they are confident that Enyeama has done enough to be named the best in Africa.
Dosu who himself was a goalkeeper in his hey days said Enyeama has done quite well by all standards and it was only normal for him to be crowned the best for the period under review.
“By any standard you want to look at it, Enyeama has done so well in this year (2014). He has done well for his club, Liile and country and so he deserves to win the award”. Dosu who now runs an academy in Lagos, Westerloo FC argued.
He continued: “I just have the confidence that he will be crowned King of African football because he has already picked some awards which I am sure CAF is watching and listening. Recently, he picked the award for the Best Goalkeeper in France.
“Personally, I believe Enyeama’s outstanding performances for his club and Nigeria will speak for him on the night. He is highly favoured to win the award,” the Atlanta’96 Olympic football goal medalist concluded.
Also sharing the same optimism, former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju said he believes that nothing can stop Enyeama from winning the award as he reckons that the Lille of France shot stopper was outstanding though last year and his performance at the Brazil World Cup which is the biggest stage in world football speaks volume.
“Enyeama deserves the award because since he returned to Lille, he has been fantastic and that he has also replicated at the national team, so I think he deserves the award”, Adepoju said.
On the other hand, the likes of Austin Jay Jay Okocha , Ike Shorunmu, Segun Odegbami have expressed doubts on Enyeama breaking the 15-year jinx that has plagued Nigeria as no player after Kanu Nwankwo in 1999 have won the coveted CAF Africa Player of the Year Award.
Past Nigerian winners of this prestigious award include the likes of Kanu Nwankwo, Victor Ikpeba, Emmanuel Amuneke and Late Rashidi Yekini.