Toure, Mbia lead race for top African player award

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Cameroon's midfielder Stephane Mbia controls the ball during a past match. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO |
Cameroon’s midfielder Stephane Mbia controls the ball during a past match. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

Football fans in Kenya on Monday greeted the nomination of Victor Wanyama for this year’s 2015 African Player of the Year award with a lot of excitement.

Whether the Harambee Stars skipper makes it to the podium or goes ahead to become the first ever East African player to win the gong is another matter altogether.

This is considering Wanyama’s competitors on the 37-man shortlist that includes stars from West, North and Southern Africa.

CSKA Moscow’s Nigerian attacker Ahmed Musa, Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew, Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure, Roma’s Egyptian star Mohammed Salah and Cameroon midfield enforcer Stephane Mbia are all in the list.

On the account of individual performances, Toure, Musa, Ayew, Salah and Mbia have been phenomenal for both club and country.

Toure, who won the crown last year stands tall among the rest after helping the Elephants win the Africa Cup of Nations crown this year.

But Mbia, 29, also helped Sevilla win the Europa League last year before completing a move to Turkey. He was the main man for Cameroon at the Cup of Nations in the absence of Samuel Eto’o who has since retired.

“Playing in Spain, France, England and Turkey has been a huge lesson. I always try do my best on the pitch, help my teammates and above all try to win games,” the Cameroon skipper told sports24, in an interview last weekend.

The list will be whittled down to 10, and then 3, from whom the overall winner will be announced by the Confederation of African Football on December 22.

Daily Nation

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