The race to crown Africa’s best soccer star for 2013 couldn’t have been tighter. It has been so fierce that people, especially Nigerian pundits, see the Glo CAF Awards as a tournament that would unveil Africa’s winner.
In my opinion, it has been an amazing a year of sports, specifically football for Nigerians as we saw our national teams win two prestigious trophies, which has beamed focus on the Super Eagles team that will be slugging it out with the rest of the world come June this year.
Well, it won’t be biased to say that John Obi Mikel, among the top three names, has been the most consistent performer all through the year. From winning the last Europa League, to conquering Africa and currently putting Chelsea FC in the driving seat for trophies this season, Mikel has contributed significantly in situations that matter most. Let’s also not forget that Yaya Toure was among the midfield Mikel mesmerised en- route winning the African Cup of Nations tournament.
That said, Yaya Toure has been stellar in his performance for his club last season, with his team sitting in second place in the Premier League log and also a favourite for the Premier League title this season.
Didier Drogba, on the other hand, has been around putting up nice displays for his club and country – performances that saw Cote d’Ivoire qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil in addition to his club side qualifying for for the money-spinning stage of the Champions League.
If we go by what happened in 2004 to Austin Jay Jay Okocha After he performed excellently for his then Premiership club side, Bolton Wanderers, but was refused the title due to El Hadji Diouf of Senegal who had inspired his country to the finals of the previous African Cup of Nations, then one would think that CAF rates players’ performances for their respective countries above club matches, especially in a year in in which Nations Cup is held. This undoubtedly will give Mikel an edge above all others if this is a major parameter.
No doubt Africa will be in for a surprise when the announcement is made in less than 48 hours from now, and I personally do hope that a Nigerian picks the award this time as it has been long over due.