African Footballer of the Year 2002: El Hadji Diouf, the Senegalese playing for Liverpool, is likely to retain the title he won last year. But watch out for surprises.

Author:Patemann, Robert
Position:The Gallery
 
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On 1 April, Africa will finally know who has won the "African Footballer of the Year Award" for 2002. The three-man shortlist has been known since the end of December, but the actual winner will be kept secret until announced at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) glittery presentation ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 1 April. Not surprisingly the shortlist includes two members of Senegal's successful World Cup ream, EI-Hadji Diouf and Papa Bouda Diop, while another three of their colleagues, Khalilou Fadiga, Henri Camara and Salif Diao made the Top 10.

The third name on the shortlist, and probably the outsider for the award, is the young Egyptian and Ajax star, Abmed 'Mido' Hossam.

The "Footballer of the Year Award" has grown tremendously since it was started in 1970 by the French magazine, France Football. Salif Keita of Mali, who was playing in France for Saint-Etienne at the time, was the first winner. Over the years, he has been followed by some of the great African legends including the Cameroonian Roger Milla (whose two wins came 14 years apart), the Ghanaian Abedi Pele (who won three years in a row) and the Liberian George Weah.

There are...

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