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Mikel, Iheanacho, Three Other Nigerians Make CAF Awards Shortlist

The Super Eagles trio of John Obi Mikel, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa have all been listed as nominees for the CAF African Player of the Year Award.

The three players flying the country’s flag in the race for the prestigious award are all plying their trade in the English Premier League.

Iheanacho, who plays for Manchester City, has been massive for the club since breaking into the first team of the English outfit.

The 20-year-old has been an instant hit with the Super Eagles already, with four goals in four games for Nigeria’s national team this year.

Mikel, though not enjoying much of club football at the moment with Chelsea, is doing well in the green and white colours of Nigeria.

Despite all odds, he notably, led the Nigeria Under-23s to a bronze medal finish at the Summer Olympics in Brazil and he is leading the country’s charge for a place in Russia 2018.

Musa was huge in CSKA Moscow’s title win in Russia before he made a big-money move to English Premier League where he currently stars for the reigning champions, Leicester City.

Twenty-seven other players have also been listed alongside the Nigerian trio.

Nigeria has endured a long wait to see any of its players crowned the best on the continent with Vincent Enyeama coming the closest to breaking the jinx two years ago in Lagos.

No Nigerian player has won the top prize since 2000 when Kanu Nwankwo was voted the best on the continent.

Meanwhile, two Nigerian players are also in the run for top prize in the award for the players based in Africa category.

Enyimba and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) record scorer, Mfon Udoh, as well as Chisom Chikatara, now with Wydad Athletic Club (WAC), are up against 23 other players featuring for different clubs on the continent.

It is expected that the Confederation of African Football will trim the list before the year runs out ahead of the award ceremony billed to take place in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in January 2017.

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