Africa Footballer of 1997 Victor Ikpeba has tipped Emmanuel Emenike and Mikel Obi to be crowned the continent’s best player this year.
Ikpeba said with the performance of the Super Eagles at the 2013 Nations Cup, Chelsea stars Victor Moses and Mikel Obi as well as Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba will be among the top favourites to win the prestigious African gong.
”I think it’s time for Nigeria to win the Africa player of the year after our winning of AFCON 2013. And I think four players Victor Moses, Mikel Obi, Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba can win the title,” he said.
However, ‘The Prince of Monaco’, as Ikpeba was fondly called during his playing days, was quick to warn that the players must sustain the tempo at their clubs.
”Winning the Nations Cup is not enough for you to win the Africa footballer of the year, so I must warn these players that they need to continue the good run in their clubs,” said Ikpeba, who is on the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Previous Nigeria winners of the CAF Award were Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Amuneke and Rashidi Yekini.
The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have fixed January 9 for the CAF Award gala.
Lagos has been picked as host city for the gala, a strong signal that the award may be coming back to Nigeria after Kanu last won it in 2000.
Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure is the current Africa Footballer of the Year.
Lagos to host CAF Awards
The 2013 CAF awards will be held in Lagos on January 9, the Confederation of African Football have announced.
It will mark the first time since 2008 that the gala event will return to Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Since 2005 when the CAF awards have been sponsored by Globacom, the event has held in five cities; the 2005 edition was held in Abuja (Nigeria), 2006 in Accra (Ghana), 2007 in Lome (Togo), 2008 in Lagos (Nigeria), 2009 in Accra (Ghana), 2010 in Cairo (Egypt) and the last two editions in Accra Ghana.
Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure is the current African Player of the Year, having won the last two editions, while the 2013 African Player of the Year – Based in Africa winner is Mohamed Abou Trieka of Egypt.