The Super Eagles trio of John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho made the list of the 30 players shortlisted for the Confederation of African Football, CAF African player of the year award for 2016.

The Super Eagles trio of John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho made the list of the 30 players shortlisted for the Confederation of African Football, CAF African player of the year award for 2016.

The Super Eagles trio of John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho made the list of the 30 players shortlisted for the Confederation of African Football, CAF African player of the year award for 2016.

CAF released on Saturday the list of the 30-man shortlist for the award which will be hosted in Abuja in January.

The three Nigerian players in contention for the continent’s top soccer award are all plying their trade in the English Premier League.

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Kelechi Iheanacho

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, skipper of the Nigerian national team, 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.

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Ahmed Musa

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. They include Cameroonian football legend, Samuel Eto ‘o, who has won the prestigious Africa award four times, current holder, Gabonese Pierre-Emerick  Aubameyang and Ghanaian Andre Ayew.

In the coming weeks, CAF we prune the list down to Top 10, after which it will be down to Top 5, before finally the Top 3 out if whom the winner will be unveiled at the Abuja ceremony.

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

Also, the duo of Mfon Udoh of Enyimba FC and Chisom Chikatara of Wydad FC of Morocco made the cut for the Africa-based Player of the Year award.

THE FULL LIST

African Player of the Year

1. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)

2. El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb)

3. Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)

4. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor)

5. Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient)

6. Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG)

7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)

8. Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune)

9.Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)

10. Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal)

11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)

12. Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham)

13. Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham)

14. William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)

15. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)

16. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)

17. John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea)

18. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)

19. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City)

20. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)

21. Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton)

22. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)

23. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)

24. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

25. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)

26. Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)

27. Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia)

28. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland)

29. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

30. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)

African Player of the Year – Based in Africa

1. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

2. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)

3. Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

4. Joel Kimwaki (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

5. Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & AS Vita)

6. Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe)

7. Ali Gabr (Egypt & Zamalek)

8. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns) 9. Jackson Mwanza (Zambia & Zesco United)

10. Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe)

11. Elia Meschak (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

12. Aymen Hefny (Egypt & Zamalek)

13. Morgan Betorangal (Chad & MO Bejaia)

14. Hlompho Kekana (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

15. Hamza Lahmar (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

16. Jesse Were (Kenya & Zesco United)

17. Idris Mbombo (DR Congo & Zesco United)

18. Chisom Chikatara (Nigeria & Wydad Athletic Club)

19. William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)

20. Reda Hajhouj (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

21. Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (Congo & Wydad Athletic Club)

22. Mfon Udon (Nigeria & Enyimba)

23. Bassem Morsi (Egypt & Zamalek)

24. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)

25. Yannick Zakri (Cote d’Ivoire & Mamelodi Sundowns)

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