The African Football Confederation (CAF) on Friday unveiled a 25-man shortlist for the prize of African Footballer of the Year for 2013, with Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba the leading names.
Kenya’s skipper Victor Wanyama, who recently moved from Scottish side Celtic FC to English Premier League side Southampton FC, also features in the list.
Manchester City midfielder Toure has won the award in each of the last two years and winning it for a third consecutive year would see him match the achievement of Samuel Eto’o, winner in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Eto’o, now of Chelsea, has won the award four times overall but is not nominated this time.
Two-time winner Drogba, now of Galatasaray, and Gervinho of Roma are the other candidates from the Ivory Coast, while there are five Nigerians in contention, all members of the side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa at the start of the year.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 9.
Nominees for African Footballer of the Year award:
Ahmed Musa (NGR/CSKA Moscow/RUS), Asamoah Gyan (GHA/Al Ain/UAE), Dame N’Doye (SEN/Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Didier Drogba (CIV/Galatasaray/TUR) and Emmanuel Emenike (NGR/Fenerbahce/TUR).
Islam Slimani (ALG/Sporting Lisbon/POR), John Obi Mikel (NGR/Chelsea/ENG), Jonathan Pitroipa (BUR/Rennes/FRA), Kevin Constant (GUI/AC Milan/ITA), Kwadwo Asamoah (GHA/Juventus/ITA), Luis Carlos Almada Soares ‘Platini’ (CPV/Omonia Nicosia/CYP), and Mehdi Benatia (MAR/Roma/ITA).
Mohamed Abou Trika (EGY/Al Ahly/EGY), Mohamed Salah (EGY/Basel/SUI), Nicolas Nkoulou (CAM/Marseille/FRA), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB/Borussia Dortmund/GER), Ryan Mendes (CPV/Lille/FRA) and Saladin Said (ETH/Wadi Degla/EGY).
Other are Seydou Keita (MAL/Dalian Aerbin/CHN), Sofiane Feghouli (ALG/Valencia/ESP), Sunday Mba (NGR/Warri Wolves/NGR), Victor Wanyama (KEN/Southampton/ENG), Vincent Enyeama (NGR/Lille/FRA), Gervinho (CIV/Roma/ITA) and Yaya Toure (CIV/Manchester City/ENG).