x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Gyan, Eto'o and Drogba compete for African award

They are the three nominees for the accolade, which is voted for by coaches and captains of Africa's 53 national teams.

CAIRO // Samuel Eto'o, fresh from lifting the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, is favourite to be named African Footballer of the Year for a record fourth time, ahead of Asamoah Gyan and Didier Drogba, the Premier League strikers.

However, a sympathy vote could see Ghana's Gyan, who plays for Sunderland, snatch away the prize when it is awarded in Cairo today.

Eto'o, Gyan and Chelsea's Drogba, the Ivory Coast captain, are the three nominees for the accolade, which is voted for by coaches and captains of Africa's 53 national teams.

Eto'o flew into Egypt yesterday after his success in the UAE with European champions Inter Milan, his latest achievement completing a year rich in club success for the Cameroon striker.

Eto'o won the treble with Inter earlier in the year, picking up a second successive winner's medal in the European Champions League.

On Saturday, he netted against the African side TP Mazembe in the Club World Cup final at Zayed Sports City.

He could, though, be stymied for a second successive year, after being controversially pipped at the post by Drogba, the Ivorian, in 2009.

This time Gyan poses a real threat, as much for his achievements at the World Cup as for his last-minute penalty miss in the quarter-final against Uruguay that could have made Ghana the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final.

* Reuters