Arsenal of England attacker, Alex Iwobi has stated that he is happy to make the last 10 nominees’ list for 2018 African Footballer of the Year award.
Sports247.ng learnt that Iwobi was excited after his name was reeled out by Confederation of African Football (CAF), and will now eagerly wait to see if he will be among the final three.
The Super Eagles star has to ward off intimidating pressure from André Onana (Cameroon & Ajax), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus), Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns) as well as Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance).
More formidable oppsition for Iwobi will also come from Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City), Sadio Mané (Senegal & Liverpool) and Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly).
Aside Iwobi, CAF earlier nominated three Nigerians for the prestigious award but only he made the list of ten finalists announced on Friday.
While Ahmed Musa and Odion Jude Ighalo have missed out on the prize, Iwobi is still flying Nigeria’s flag, but faces tough competition to win the accolade, last won for the country in 1998. by Nwankwo Kanu.
In the category of Men’s Coach of the Year, Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr is out, but AWCON 2018 winning tactician, Thomas Dennerby faces Desire Ellis (South Africa) and Joseph Brian Ndoko (Cameroon) for top handler of women teams across the continent in the outgoing year.
Nigeria has three nominees for the female prize, as Super Falcons trio Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega and Onome Ebi and eight other players are among the 11 finalists for Women’s Player of the Year.
For Youth Player of the Year, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi faces Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmunmd) and Franck Kessie (Cote d’Ivoire & AC Milan) for the gong on January 8, 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.