Essien makes CAF shortlist

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A shortlist of five released by the Confederation of African Football named Chelsea star Essien alongside his club mate Didier Drogba, who was also last year’s winner, Mali internationals Fredi Kanoute and Mamadou Diarra of Sevilla and Real Madrid in Spain and Emmanuel Adebayor of Arsenal and Togo.

The winner of the award will be announced at the annual African Footballer of the Year awards in Lome Togo on February 1.

Essien, who was third in the last two polls, will be hoping to be third time lucky this time after a season in which he was one of Chelsea’s best performers.

And if he succeeds, it will be the first time a Ghana has taken the converted award since the last of Abedi Pele’s three wins in 1994.

But Togolese international Emmanuel Adebayor will be hoping to beat Essien to the title. He told Ghana TV station TV3 that he will be thrilled to be named the winner of the award in his home town.

“I have always dreamt about that, he said. I will be happy to wear an African cloth or a suit and a tie and walk up the podium to pick up that honour. I am confident in my talent and know if I don’t do it this year, I will do it some other time,” he said.

The winner of the award will be chosen from the shortlist by the coaches of the 53 African coaches.