African Footballer of the Year: BBC opens votes

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Drogba, Yaya Touré, Eto’o, Essien or Trésor Mputu? Polls have opened for the BBC African footballer of the year. The suspense will end on January 8, 2010 when the winners will be announced.

Who will take over from Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahly Club)? The BBC sports service revealed the names of five footballers nominated for the 2009 African footballer of the year award on the 30th of November.

Those nominated by a panel of African football experts to vie for the highly coveted title include, two Ivorians; Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Touré Yaya (Barcelona), one Cameroonian, Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan), a Ghanaian, Michael Essien (Chelsea), and the Congolese, Trésor Mputu.

An outsider called Trésor

Trésor Mputu, captain of TP Mazembe (Almighty Mazembe of Lubumbashi), is the only player among the five to be playing on the African continent. But this is expected to change soon. According to sources, European clubs have been trying to sign him.

The public is invited to vote via the internet until January 4. The winner will be announced on the 8th of January on BBC World Service.

The first person to have been named the BBC African footballer of the year was Abedi Pele, a Ghanaian football legend, in 1992.

The BBC African Footballer of the Year is the only award in the world with a jury entirely made up of fans.

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