Ghana’s final placement at the Angola Nations’ Cup and quarter-final showing in the World Cup has seen Asamoah Gyan, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Kwadwo Asamoah being shortlisted.
This year’s list also has four Ivorians, making the two nations favorites to bag the ultimate award. Didier Drogba (reigning AFoTY) leads the Elephant herd with Salomon Kalou, Kolo Toure and Gervinho in contention.
Michael Essien, despite his inability to impact the Nations’ Cup nor play in South Africa, has been drafted due to his sterling performances for Chelsea.
The last time a Ghanaian won the award was Abedi Pele Ayew in 1993.
In recent years, we’ve become familiar with some names in the shortlist and they are again in the mix: Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Frédéric Kanouté and Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor (Togo). The 17-strong list names players from all parts of the continent.
It will be whittled down in a few months time as the search for the winner reaches a climax.
The AFoTY awards have been around since 1992 and the last edition was held in Accra, Ghana.
17 AFoTY nominees
Steven Pienaar (Everton/South Africa)
Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland/Ghana)
Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan/Cameroon)
Frédéric Kanouté (FC Sévilla/Mali)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea/Ivory Coast)
Solomon Kalou (Chelsea/Ivory Coast)
Gervinho (Lille/Ivory Coast)
Mohamed Zidan (Dortmund/Egypt)
Madjid Bougherra (Rangers/Algeria)
Kolo Habib Touré (Manchester City/Ivory Coast)
Michael Essien (Chelsea/Ghana)
Asamoah Kwadwo (Udinese/Ghana)
Prince Boateng (Milan AC/Ghana)
Seydou Keita (FC Barcelona/Mali)
Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal/Morocco)
Victor Nsofor Obinna (Inter Milan, on loan to West Ham/Nigeria)
Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City/Togo)