After a long hiatus from the annual nominees list of the African Footballer of the year award, Nigerian players have again found themselves on the roll call of the prestigious award. This time, Victor Moses, Mikel Obi & John Utaka are flying Nigeria’s flag as they go head to head against other players across the continent.
The Confederation of African Football revealed this in an initial list of 34 players for its 2012 African Footballer of the Year award.
Among them is Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, who won the honour last year.
Also on the list are three players who currently represent African clubs. Zambian duo Rainford Kalaba and Stoppila Sunzu both play for DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, while Tunisia’s Youssef Msakni is at Esperance.
Msakni, however, is set to leave the African Champions, having agreed to join Lekhwiya in Qatar in January 2013.
Kalaba and Sunzu have already enjoyed a successful year, as they were part of Zambia’s team that lifted this year’s Africa Cup trophy in Gabon.
And the duo, alongside Msakni, are the only players to appear on both shortlists for the African Footballer of the Year and the African Player of the Year.
The African Footballer of the Year award is predominantly won by players based outside Africa while the African Player of the Year prize is dedicated to players plying their trade within Africa.
A total of 34 players are on the shortlist for the African Footballer, while 32 hopefuls are gunning for the African Player of the Year award.
CAF said in a statement that it will announce the top 10 nominees for the African Footballer of the Year and the top five nominees for African footballer of the Year (based in Africa) by late October.
The names of the respective 10 and five finalists will then be sent to national associations, head coaches and secretary generals to select the top three finalists.
The awards, which also include Coach of the Year and Club of the Year will be announced at a ceremony on 20 December in the Banquet Hall, State House in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
Nominees for African Player of the Year:
- Abdelaziz Barrada – Getafe (Spain) and Morocco
- Adel Taarabt – Queens Park Rangers (England) and Morocco
- Alain Sibiri Traore – Lorient (France) and Burkina Faso
- Alexander Song – Barcelona (Spain) and Cameroon
- Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew – Marseille (France) and Ghana
- Arouna Kone – Wigan (England) and Ivory Coast
- Aymen Abdennour – Toulouse (France) and Tunisia
- Bakaye Traore – AC Milan (Italy) and Mali
- Cheick Tiote – Newcastle United (England) and Ivory Coast
- Christopher Katongo – Henan Construction (China) and Zambia
- Demba Ba – Newcastle United (England) and Senegal
- Didier Drogba – Shanghai Shenhua (China) and Ivory Coast
- Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu – Udinese (Italy) and Ghana
- Emmanuel Mayuka – Southampton (England) and Zambia
- Foxi Kethevoama – FC Astana (Kazakhstan) and Central African Republic
- Gervinho – Arsenal (England) and Ivory Coast
- Hilaire Momi – Le Mans (France) and Central African Republic
- John Obi Mikel – Chelsea (England) and Nigeria
- John Utaka – Montpellier (France) and Nigeria
- Kwadwo Asamoah – Juventus (Italy) and Ghana
- Moussa Sow – Fenerbahce (Turkey) and Senegal
- Nicolas N’koulou – Marseille (France) and Cameroon
- Papiss Demba Cisse – Newcastle United (England) and Senegal
- Pape Moussa Konate – FC Krasnodar (Russia) and Senegal
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – St Etienne (France) and Gabon
- Rainford Kalaba – TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Zambia
- Seydou Doumbia – CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Ivory Coast
- Seydou Keita – Dalian Aerbin (China) and Mali
- Sofiane Feghouli – Valencia (Spain) and Algeria
- Stoppila Sunzu – TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Zambia
- Victor Moses – Chelsea (England) and Nigeria
- Yaya Toure – Manchester City (England) and Ivory Coast
- Younes Belhanda – Montpellier (France) and Morocco
- Youssef Msakni – Esperance (Tunisia) and Tunisia
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Hakim Ziyech Reveals He Is Comfortable At Chelsea
Chelsea’s new star Hakim Ziyech has revealed that he is comfortable with the Blues after shining in a 4-1 win against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Ziyech completed a €40 million (£36m/$47m) move from Ajax Amsterdam over the summer, and after having been delayed at Stamford Bridge due to injury, the Moroccan forward made his full debut for the club in the UEFA Champions League clash against Krasnodar in October.
And after just four starts for the club, Ziyech now has two goals and three assists.
Frank Lampard’s men have in turn won all four games in which Ziyech has started and the atmosphere is quite conducive for the 27-year-old.
“I feel comfortable here in the team and with the squad and all my team-mates so I think that’s why I feel comfortable here,” he told Sky Sports when asked about adapting to life at Chelsea.
“I think we played a good game, the first 10 minutes was difficult – we started a bit sloppy but after 1-0 we could control the game and couldn’t score more goals at that point but we played a good game.”
“They come in with power on corners – you think they’ll put it in the box but they took it short and scored for 1-0 but after that we did well and created a lot of chances and scored a lot of goals.
“They like it when you play the ball to your feet and I saw Mateo Kovacic running into space – sometimes you have to get those balls then they don’t know what to do and then the first time we did that I scored.
“I always look at my team-mate before I take the ball, we understand, only eye contact is enough for us.”
Ziyech will now turn his attention to the national team, as Morocco prepare for the African Cup of Nations qualifier clash against the Central African Republic. The Atlas Lions currently lead their group with four points from two games.
Source: Sky Sports
Ahmed Musa Bids Farewell To Al Nassr Teammates, Fans
Nigerian international, Ahmed Musa took to his Twitter handle on Sunday to write a farewell message to his teammates, management and fans of Al Nassr.
Recall that last month the Saudi Arabian club in an official statement via it social media page announced that Musa will be departing the club after two years.
“Thank you Nigerian falcon, wishing you all the best in the future! @Ahmedmusa718,” the club said on their Twitter page.
Musa joined Al Nassr from EPL side Leicester City. During his stay, he made 50 appearances with nine goals to his name.
Musa in his tweet hailed everyone at the club for their love and support.
He wrote, “I want to say a very big thank you to my teammates, management & the entire Fans of @AlNassrFC Club for the great experience & unwavering support, love & care. It’s been a pleasure & I am extremely grateful. Best of luck @AlNassrFC.”
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