From all indications it appears Cote d’Ivoire and Shanghai Shenhua FC of China striker, Didier Drogba is favoured to win the 2012 Glo/CAF African Footballer of the Year Award ahead of the other two contenders in the awards that holds tonight at the State House, Accra, Ghana.
The other contenders are his countryman and Manchester City of England midfielder Yaya Toure and Cameroonian and Barcelona FC of Spain midfielder, Alex Song, who moved from Arsenal FC of England last summer.
Last year’s winner, Toure made the last three list again even as Drogba is favourite to reclaim the title he lost to Camerounian, Samuel Eto Fils in 2010.
As the countdown to the awards night closes in, Drogba who dumped the limelight of the English Premiership for the megabucks of Shanghai Shenhua, has been tipped to lead African footballers again following his contributions to Chelsea winning the UEFA League for the first time.
The towering striker had an eventful 2011-2012 season with both club and country. He scored the equaliser and winning penalty to give Chelsea the European Champions League title and missed a penalty in the 2012 African Cup of Nations final during regulation time. His goals helped Cote d’Ivoire into finals of the Nations Cup, where they finished up second to Zambia.
He scored the winning goal in FA cup final for Chelsea in what became his last season with the English club.
He will surely be challenged by reigning king, Yaya Toure.
The Ivorian midfielder 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.
Meanwhile, despite having a prolific season in Scotland, Victor Wanyama will miss out on the Most Promising Talent Award.
The Celtic midfielder did not receive an official invite to the event as reliably learnt by supersport.com which confirmed that he will not take the top award either.
“Regarding Victor Wanyama’s amazing performance this year, he reached the top three of the Category Most Promising Talent but according to the voting Wanyama became the third and as per the committee regulation we don’t send an invitation to the third place in this category,” said a reliable source close to CAF.
The criteria by which the winner was chosen is not highlighted but this is set to spark debate as the former Germinal Beerschot player had an impeccable year that has seen clubs like Manchester United express interest in securing his services.
Moussa Konate and Mohammed Saleh were nominated alongside him and it’s clear that the battle for the top honours will be between the two.
Wanyama propelled his side to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League by becoming the first Kenyan to score in the competition and scooped the Scottish premier league with his side as well.