Why Mikel, Moses Deserve to Win 2013 BBC Africa Football Player of the Year Award

 Having been vitally involved in Nigeria’s CAF-African Cup of Nations (AFCON) win in February and Chelsea’s UEFA-Europa cup win in May, Super Eagles duo of Mikel Obi and Victor Moses have been  named as nominees for the 2013 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.

It isn’t a surprise though, because these two Nigerian stars have done enough and either of them deserve to win the prestigious award.

2013 was an outstanding year, particularly for Mikel Obi, who was made to carry the Nigerian national team on his young shoulders. He was the play-maker of the team and worked so hard to provide assists for the attackers and cover for the defense-line.

Mikel’s combination with Victor Moses provided Super Eagles the needed impetus to pull down the defense block of every opponent, which included, Cote d’ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso. It was quite a surprise to many football analysts that Burkina Faso’s forward, Jonathan Pitroipa, was given the MVP award ahead of Mikel and Nigeria is still  placed 4th  among African countries in FIFA Rankings. 

 Mikel’s involvement in Chelsea’s 2012/ 2013 success wasn’t anything less. Though, he was better known for his contribution in the defensive midfield role and his ball winning skills has greatly been lauded by fans.

Something so special about Mikel is the fact that he has been a mainstay in Chelsea’s star studded team, in spite the regular change of sometimes eccentric managers, Mikel has always managed to keep his first team shirt. The truth is, he has all it takes to be the world best.

OK, it isn’t that a record, but Mikel finally ended a seven year barren spell for the Blues, when he scored his first premiership goal in his 185 appearance for  club, to seal a 2 – 1 victory over Fulham in October. We all know he plays more of a defensive role in Chelsea.

Perhaps, Victor Moses had a more robust season for club, where the versatile midfielder scored six times for Chelsea, including one goal in each of Blues’ Europa League semi-finals  victory over FC Basel.

 Moses diagonal dribble runs and ball holding skills made it very difficult for defenders to pin him down. He was a ‘thorn in the flesh’ of most defenders at AFCON,  and Cote d’ivoire defender, Kolo Toure, did attest to his outstanding performance in the tournament.

Recently, Moses secured a season switch to Liverpool in September and scored on his debut against Swansea City. Since then, he has improved the attacking efforts of his new team.

Although, Mikel and Moses are double champions for country and club, yet they still have to contend with Cote d’Ivoire- Manchester City Midfielder, Yaya Toure; Burkina Faso forward, Jonathan Pitroipa and Gabonese Striker, Pierri-Emerick Aubameyang; who all had an individual outstanding performances during the year and are also nominees of the 2013 BBC African Player of the Year Award.

A win by either Mikel or Moses, will make  any of them the fourth Nigerian winner of the award, after Emmanuel Amunike (1996); Nwankwo Kanu (1997 & 1999); Austin Okocha (2003 & 2004).

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