English-based duo Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo and Amr Zaki of Egypt are amongst the top candidates for this year's CAF awards.
Adebayor was in inspirational form for the Gunners last season, ending the season as the team's top scorer. Zaki made himself a favorite with Egyptian soccer fans when he scored some important goals for the Pharaohs on their way to winning the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana. His impressive start for new club Wigan won't have hurt his chances of bagging a gong either.
Al Ahly midfielder Mohammed Aboutrika also played an important role in the Egypt triumph -- its sixth continental crown. Incredibly, he's been listed in both categories.
The unique aspect of this year's event is the fact that there is a seperate category for African-based talents. The clear favorite for this award is Enyimba midfielder Stephen Worgu, who has set the CAF Champions League alight this year with his fantastic goals for the "Aba Millionaires."
Shortlist for the African Player of the Year award:
Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahly, Egypt), Ahmed Hassan (Al Ahly, Egypt), Flavio Amado (Al Ahly, Angola), Tresor Mputu Mabi (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Stephen Worgu (Enyimba, Nigeria).
Shortlist for the African Player of the Year Award (Abroad and Continental):
Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahly, Egypt), Amr Zaki (Wigan Athletic, Egypt), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Chelsea, Ghana), Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal, Togo).