CAF award down to Drogba, Eto'o, Gyan
© AFP

The race to be 2010 CAF Footballer of the Year was narrowed to three candidates Saturday with strikers Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o and Asamoah Gyan still in contention.

And it came as no surprise when a statement from the African football governing body said Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou and Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita had fallen by the wayside from a shortlist released a week ago.

Chelsea striker and Ivory Coast captain Drogba was voted number one last year, but is the outsider this time with Eto'o and Gyan boasting stronger claims to fame.

Eto'o helped Inter Milan win the Italian and UEFA Champions League titles and the Italian Cup although Cameroon flopped under his captaincy at the African Nations Cup and FIFA World Cup™ tournaments.

Gyan, a close-season signing by Sunderland from Rennes, did not have the same impact at club level, but his goals propelled Ghana to the Nations Cup final and FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.

The Black Star was also a FIFA World Cup villain as he struck the crossbar with a penalty in the dying seconds of extra time against Uruguay and had he scored Ghana would have become the first FIFA World Cup semi-finalists from Africa.

The Footballer of the Year, who is chosen by the national coaches from CAF member nations, and the winners of seven other awards will be announced on 20 December in Cairo.