Mikel Obi Set to Become The Next CAF African Player of The Year

We don’t need a soothsayer to foretell this one, the Nigeria International and Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi should be the next African football player of the year. His performance and successes in 2012 and 2013 has been so outstanding even the blind could see the achievements.

I stand to be corrected, but I don’t know of any African player that has done as much for Country and club in 2013, Perhaps, the player that would have contested this category of the prestigious CAF award would have been fellow compatriot, Victor Moses. But Moses withdrawal from the recent world cup qualifier games and his non-inclusion in the Nigerian team for the Confederations cup may affect his chances.

 Mikel and Moses both played major roles in Nigeria’s Africa cup of Nations (AFCON) win in February as well as Chelsea’s Europa cup win in May 2013. You could also recall that Mikel also played a major role in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League win in 2012.

Although, Joseph Yobo was the captain of the Nigerian side at AFCON, but close followers of the Super Eagles know that the team actually revolves around Mikel. The Ivorian star, Didier Drogba said after Nigeria defeated Cote d’Ivoire at the quarter finals, “Nigeria is now the favorite to win AFCON and Mikel the most valuable player by my rating…”

It was against all expectations that Mikel didn’t get the MVP award after all. He was so outstanding as a midfield maestro for the Nigerian side. He started most of the attacks with his connecting passes and passes and provided extra-ordinary assist for the strikers.

Again, Mikel’s outstanding performances at the recent world cup qualifiers and the success of the Nigerian team so far may give him the edge. Nigeria 0 – 1 away victory over Kenya saw Mikel dominating play at the midfield. How he intercepted the ball and immediately started a counter attack with a long pass which saw Ahmed Musa score the only goal of the match.

Mikel has done enough this year to merit the award as the African player of the year 2013. But if he continue to do well and eventually lead Nigeria to qualify for the world cup as well as win the Confederations cup, then it will be so glaring and no one can deny him of the award again.

However, the NFF public relations officer has work to do. He must work with both Stephen Keshi, the Nigeria national team coach and Jose Mourinho, the new Chelsea manager to ensure that Mikel finishes the year well. The CAF Award to Mikel will also be an honor to Nigeria.

Nigerian Players Who Are Past Winners Of African Player Of the Year Award 

1999 Nwankwo Kanu
1997 Victor Ikpeba
1996 Nwankwo Kanu
1994 Emmanuel Amuneke
1993 Rashidi Yekini

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