Super Eagles skipper Mikel Obi has celebrated the nominations of himself and international teammates Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho for the CAF African Player of the Year award.
“Proud for Nigeria to be nominated for @CAF_Online African Footballer of the Year along with Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa,” Mikel tweeted on Tuesday.
Mikel, who finished second to Yaya Toure for the award in 2013, inspired Nigeria U-23s as captain and one of three allowed overage players to a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics men’s football event.
Iheanacho has had a productive breakthrough year at Manchester City and the Super Eagles, while Musa had a great impact in CSKA’s run to the Russian top flight title before joing Leicester City in August.
Other prominent players in the 30-man nominees list include Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani, Cameroon’s Samurl Eto’o, Cote d’Ivoire’s Eric Bailly, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, holder Pierre Emerick Aubameyang from Gabon, and Ghana’s Andre Ayew.
Cote d’Ivoire star Yaya Toure, who won the award four times in a row and was runner-up last year, is not included.
Nigerian strikers, Mfon Idoh of Enyimba and Chisom Chikatara of Wydad, are listed as two of 25 nominees for the African Player of the Year Based in Africa award.