*As Enyeama, Aubameyang battle Toure
Cote d’Ivoire skipper Yaya Toure will battle Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the biggest individual accolade on offer in African football.
The annual award ceremony is scheduled for tonight in Lagos and will be graced by many bigwigs in African football and beyond. The event begins at 7 pm at the International Events Centre, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Cote d’Ivoire star Yaya has been in superb form for the past four years and without taking anything away from Enyeama and Aubameyang, he is being tipped to again be the king of Africa after he first won it in 2011.
The Ivorian was pivotal as Manchester city won the English Premier League, featured at the 2014 FIFA World Cup even if Cote d’Ivoire exited in the first round at Brazil and helped them qualify for AFCON 2015.
Yaya will thus equal the record of Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o, who has also won the award four times, but the City midfielder wins, he will go a step further by setting a new record of winning it for four straight years as Eto’o only won three of his four awards in a row.
Yaya Toure has made himself the heartbeat of Manchester City to the extent that if he is not on the pitch or is off form, the team have also been known to struggle.
He is also the main source of inspiration for the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire following the retirement from international football of Didier Drogba.
The energetic midfielder provides assists as well as scores crucial goals for both club and country.
Enyeama has been a consistent performer for Lille and Nigeria, and the best goalkeeper in France for year 2014 is looking forward to create an upset against the Ivorian to end the drought for Nigeria player not winning the award since Nwankwo Kanu achieved this milestone in 1999.
The votes of the 56 national coaches in Africa and their technical directors will decide the winner.
In the female African footballer of the year category, the golden girl of Nigeria football, Asisat Oshoala look good to be crown as Africa’s best female star for 2014.
The youngster is far and away from rival nominees Cameroon’s Annette Ndom and fellow Nigerian Desire Oparanozie.
She will also scoop the Youth Player Award ahead of Sunday Uchechi and Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa, who features for the Barcelona reserves but has now installed himself as his country’s No. 1 shot stopper.
The Rivers Angels striker has done enough to clinch the award as she was the Most Valuable Player at FIFA U20 World Cup as well as the African Women’s Championship in Namibia late last year.
She also won a league and cup double with Rivers Angels in the year under review.
This 20-year-old is the new deal complete with great technique, has an eye for goal and her versatility means she can play both in attack and midfield.