Eurosport - Wed, 17 Feb 11:51:00 2010
Chelsea team-mates Didier Drogba and Michael Essien have both been shortlisted for the CAF African Player of the Year award, with Internazionale striker Samuel Eto'o completing the three-man final list.
Barcelona duo Seydou Keita and Yaya Toure were eliminated from the original list of top performers in 2009, drawn up by CAF's Technical and Media committees, following votes cast by national team coaches of Africa's 53 member nations.
Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor, the winner of the 2008 award, was not in the running.
Ivory Coast captain Drogba picked up the 2006 award after helping Chelsea to a second consecutive Premier League title. Cameroon skipper Eto'o had won the award in each of the previous three years. Ghana midfielder Essien, who also captains his country, has never won the award despite making the final shortlist three times. Essien was the only player out of the three to reach the semi-finals of last month's African Cup of Nations.
The winner will be announced in a ceremony in the Ghanaian capital of Accra on March 11.
Before that, Drogba and Essien are set to clash with Eto'o on the pitch when Chelsea travel to face Inter for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. The second leg at Stamford Bridge will be played five days after the winner is announced.
Full list of nominees
African Footballer of the Year 2009
Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
Michael Essien (Chelsea and Ghana)
Samuel Eto'o (Internazionale and Cameroon)
Best African player on the continent 2009
Uche Agba (Heartland FC and Nigeria)
Mputu Mabi (T.P. Mazembe and DR Congo)
Abdelmalek Ziaya (Entente Setif and Algeria)
National Team of the Year 2009
Club of the Year 2009
Heartland FC (Nigeria)
Stade Malien (Mali)
T.P. Mazembe (DR Congo)
Young Player of the Year 2009
Dominic Adiyiah (Milan and Ghana U20)
Kermit Erasmus (Feyenoord and South Africa U20)
Sani Emmanuel (Bodens BK and Nigeria U17)
Coach of the Year 2009
Diego Garzitto (T.P. Mazembe)
John Obuh (Nigeria U17)
Sellas Tetteh (Ghana U20)