Ghana: Asamoah Gyan, whose goals helped fire Ghana to the World Cup quarter-finals but then missed a last-gasp penalty to seal a semi-final spot, has been named on a shortlist for the 2010 African Footballer of the Year Award.
The striker, who made a big-money move to Premier League side Sunderland after the World Cup in South Africa, was named on the shortlist alongside Chelsea’s Ivorian duo Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou and Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon and Inter Milan.
Malian international midfielder Seydou Keita, who plays for Barcelona, completes the five-man list which will be cut to three finalists on Dec. 11, the Confederation of African Football said in a statement on Saturday. The winner will be named in Cairo on Dec. 20.
Coaches and captains of Africa’s 53 national teams vote for the award.
Drogba narrowly beat Eto’o to the 2009 award but the Inter Milan forward is favourite to win this year’s accolade having won the UEFA Champions League and Serie A title, while also setting a new goal scoring record in captaining Cameroon at the African Nations Cup finals in Angola.
Ghana’s Gyan could command a strong sympathy vote after his dramatic hero and villain role at the World Cup. He was also the catalyst behind Ghana’s unexpected progress to the Nations Cup final in January.