Posted: Thu January 9, 2014 11:13AM; Updated: Thu January 9, 2014 11:13AM

Toure, Drogba, Mikel vie for top African player award

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Yaya Toure
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is one of three finalists for Africa's Player of the Year honors.
Manchester City FC/AP

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel are in the running for the African player of the year award, which will be awarded later Thursday.

Toure, who is from the Ivory Coast, is the defending champion and is favored to win the title for a third year at a gala event in Lagos, Nigeria's seaside commercial capital.

The 35-year-old Drogba was the first player to win the award for Ivory Coast in 2006, and won the title again in 2009.

Drogba is expected to play in his last World Cup in Brazil later this year.

Mikel is the first Nigerian to be named a finalist in more than a decade. He helped the Super Eagles win the African Cup of Nations last year.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is favored to win in his category after reviving the fortunes of the country's national team and leading the Super Eagles to their first African Cup win in 20 years.

Keshi was captain of the Nigerian team that last won the African Cup in 1994.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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