With the World Cup coming to Africa in 2010 , that's if we don't pull another TIA move-This Is Africa-we've seen the spotlight shift and shine rather brightly on what they call the Dark Continent. Enough firms have started investing in football with everything from media rights, advertising, grounds preparation already on top gear in readiness for the Big One.
This too has increased the African footballers desire to play a better game. But whether this has a bearing to what will happen in 2010, I can't put a finger to it. In Europe's top leagues, the African players can be counted to be on top of their game. They lead the scorers sheet in at least 2 leagues. And some sterling performances are in place.
BBC in recognition of these efforts have decided to award the best performances.For this year 2007, there are 5 nominees who have been put forward;
1. Emmanuel Adebayor- Togo (playing for Arsenal, England currently tied top scorer)
2. Samuel Eto'o- Cameroon ( playing for Barcelona, Spain currently back from injury)
3. Michael Essien- Ghana (playing for Chelsea,England holding forte in the midfield)
4. Fredric Kanoute- Mali (playing for Sevilla, Spain ,top scorer in the League)
5. Didier Drogba-Ivory Coast( playing for Chelsea,England top scorer 2006-7 season)
The winner will be announced at a special ceremony in Accra, Ghana on February 1, after the completion of the group stages of the African Cup of Nations.
According to the BBC's website, here's some things to consider in each player's case:
1.Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor picked up where Thierry Henry left off for English Premier League side Arsenal with seven goals for the Gunners in the first three months of the season.
2.Despite hardly playing in 2007, Samuel Eto'o has been chosen as the face of the 2010 World Cup and has taken a leading role in the fight against racism in football. He's also been consistent in front of goal despite his frequent injuries in the last 2 seasons. He's not been as active though for Cameroon, they who were bundled out of the World Cup qualifiers by Ivory Coast.
3. Michael Essien was rewarded for his performances with a new five-year contract at Chelsea, and Ghana coach Claude Le Roy has declared Essien's talent to be "from another planet".
He's reputed to have very strong lungs covering the grounds with much gusto. Some coaches says he covers more ground on the pitch than some lawn mowers. He's also reputed to have a powerful left shoot. He's also got a good physical presence which helps the team defensively. This was evident in the last matches of last season where some defenders were injured.
4. Fredric Kanoute, the Malian who's been quite consistent for the Sevilla squad, aiding it to 2 UEFA Cups and a vital 2nd round qualification to the UEFA Champions League in its first try. He's also been instrumental for the national side and helping them qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.
5. Didier Drogba-the man most people love to hate- he who led Chelsea to the 2nd place position behind Man United in the English Premier League and a Carling Cup too for 2006-7 season. He who wears a bad hairstyle and loves tormenting defenses with his quick flash moves and headers. He's also a tad bit quick to land on his knees when challenged physically.
Acknowledgments: BBC, Roadto2010final.blogspot.com