Andrew ‘Dede’ Ayew, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Alex Song and Yaya Toure are the final five nominees for the Confederation of African Football’s Player of the Year award.
Ivory Coast and Manchester City’s Toure won the accolade last year.
Caf initially named 34 players who they were considering for the award before cutting that down to 10 names.
The final nominees were decided by votes from the head coaches and technical directors of the football associations affiliated to Caf.
Nominees for Caf award
- Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew – Marseille (France) and Ghana
- Demba Ba – Newcastle United (England) and Senegal
- Didier Drogba – Shanghai Shenhua (China) and Ivory Coast
- Alex Song – Barcelona (Spain) and Cameroon
- Yaya Toure – Manchester City (England) and Ivory Coast
Four of the nominees have caught the judges’ attention while playing in England.
Toure has had another tremendous season with City, helping them to win the Premier League title – the first league championship for the club in 44 years.
His Ivorian compatriot Drogba also tasted silverware with an English Premier League club as they won the FA Cup and also their maiden European Champions League title.
Drogba crowned his time at Chelsea by scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final, before he left to join Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
Senegal striker Demba Ba is another on the list recognised for his work in the English Premier League. He scored 17 goals for Newcastle to end last season as the club’s top scorer.
And Cameroon’s Song spent the first half of the year at Arsenal, where he was the driving force of their midfield, before leaving to join Spanish giants Barcelona.
Ghanaian Ayew has been included for his excellent performances for French Ligue 1 club Marseille.
Caf also announced the shortlist of three nominees for the Africa-based Player of the Year award.
They are Egypt and Al Ahly midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika and Zambian duo Rainford Kalaba and Stoppila Sunzu who both play for DR Congo’s TP Mazembe.
Sunzu scored the winning penalty against Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations final, while Aboutrika helped Ahly win their seventh African Champion League trophy.
The African Footballer of the Year award is predominantly won by players based outside Africa while the African Player of the Year prize is dedicated to players plying their trade within Africa.
Both shortlists were unveiled at a ceremony in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, attended by Caf executive committee member Kwesi Nyantakyi.
The awards, which also include Coach of the Year and Club of the Year will be announced at a ceremony on 20 December in Accra.