Nigeria’s trio of John Obi Mikel, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho have been nominated by the Confederation of African Football for the 2016 Glo-CAF African Player of the Year Award.
The trio was among the 30 nominees released by CAF on Saturday for the award slated for January 5, 2017 in Abuja.
Other top African stars nominated include current holder Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, Ghana’s Andre Ayew and Cote d’Ivoire’s Serge Aurier.
Nigeria, Algeria and, Cote d’Ivoire have three players each while Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, DR Congo, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia have two players each nominated.
For the Award of African Player of the year based in Africa, two Nigerians also made the list of 25 nominees for the award.
The nominees are Mfom Udo of Enyimba FC of Aba and Chisom Chikatara of Wydad Athletic Club, Casablanca, Moroco.
Mikel who missed the award in 2013, was instrumental to Nigeria’s success at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil where he led the Olympics Eagles to win bronze medal at the football event while Musa helped his former team CSKA Moscow to win the Russian title before moving to England in July to join reigning English champions, Leicester City.
Iheanacho who won CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year in 2013 has scored four goals in four appearances for Nigeria and has been in fantastic form since moving to the Manchester City first team.
No Nigerian player has won the award till date since 1999 when former Super Eagles’ star Nwankwo Kanu won it.
Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was tipped to win the award for Nigeria in 2014, but he came third behind Aubameyang of Gabon and Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast.
Full Nominee List
1. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
2. El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb)
3. Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)
4. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor)
5. Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient)
6. Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG)
7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester City)
8. Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune)
9. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)
10. Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal)
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)
12. Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham)
13. Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham)
14. William Jebor (Liberia& Wydad Athletic Club)
15. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)
16. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
17. John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea)
18. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)
19. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City)
20. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)
21. Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton)
22. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
23. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
24. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
25. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)
26. Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)
27. Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia)
28. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland)
29. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
30. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)
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