Skip to main content

Drogba and Katongo lead nominations for African Player of Year

November 5, 2012 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
Didier Drogba's last kick in a Chelsea shirt delivered them the European Champions League
Didier Drogba's last kick in a Chelsea shirt delivered them the European Champions League
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dider Drogba leads 10-strong field nominated for African Player of the Year award
  • Ivory Coast striker scored penalty that won European Champions League for Chelsea
  • Christopher Katongo led Zambia to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations triumph
  • English-based trio Yaya Toure, Demba Ba, Jon Obi Mikel all nominated

(CNN) -- Didier Drogba, the man who secured Chelsea's first ever European Champions League triumph, leads the nominations for Africa's Player of the Year award.

The striker's winning penalty in a dramatic shootout against German giants Bayern Munich was his last strike of the ball for the English club, with whom he spent eight seasons.

Drogba, who is a huge star back in the Ivory Coast and is credited with a pivotal role in ending the country's civil war, now plays for Shanghai Shenhua in China.

Also on the list is Christopher Katongo, who led Zambia to a maiden Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) victory earlier in 2012, as they beat Drogba's Ivory Coast in the final.

The minnows stunned the continent as they triumphed at the finals, hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and Katongo was named player of the tournament.

Didier Drogba welcomed to China
How Zambia overcame the odds
Zambia Cup victory unites country
Soccer star Drogba moves to China
Didier Drogba leaves Chelsea

Like Drogba, the 30-year-old plays in China, for Henan Construction, and has scored 19 goals in 74 appearances for Zambia, as he helped his country ensure they will defend their trophy in 2013 in South Africa.

There are a quartet of English based players on the list, with Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, an Ivory Coast teammate of Drogba, prominent among them.

Toure, alongside brother Kolo, helped City claim their first English league title in 44 years in a thrilling end to the 2011/12 campaign and was named in the Premier League team of the season.

Senegalese striker Demba Ba has become a firm fans' favorite at Newcastle United, scoring 23 goals in his 44 Premier League appearances so far.

Like Drogba, Nigeria's Jon Obi Mikel was part of Chelsea's squad which won the Champions League and also England's premier domestic cup competition, the FA Cup.

Arsenal's Gervinho was also on the losing side in the CAN final, after his goal helped Ivory Coast beat Mali in the last four.

New Barcelona signing Alex Song has also made the cut. After an impressive season with Arsenal the defensive midfielder earned a high-profile move to the Spanish giants prior to the start of the 2012/13 season.

There is a place on the list for Marseille's Ghanaian winger Andre Ayew, who helped take his country to the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012.

Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another French-based player to earn a nomination, after finishing as joint top scorer at the CAN with three goals.

The final name is Morocco's Younes Belhanda, who scored 13 times as his club side Montpellier won the French league title.

The 22-year-old was named in the French league's team of the season and was crowned young player of the year.

African soccer's governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has also announced five candidates for their Africa-based Player of the Year Award.

There are two players who represent DR Congo club TP Mazembe -- Rainford Kalaba and Stoppila Sunzu -- Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Aboutreika, who plays in his native country for Al-Ahly, and Yannick N'Djeng and Yousse Msakni who both play for Tunisian club Esperance Sportive de Tunis.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is provoking huge media interest and the hungry attention of Europe's top clubs.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT