MIKEL IN RUNNING FOR AFRICAN ACCOLADE

John Mikel Obi will find out later today (Thursday) whether he has won the African Footballer of the Year when the Confederation of African Football awards ceremony takes place in his native Nigeria.

The Chelsea midfielder is one of three nominated for the honour, with former team mate Didier Drogba and Manchester City's Yaya Toure the other two, a shortlist of 10 names having been cut down earlier this week.

It is the first time Mikel has been one of the three nominees. Toure won the accolade the previous two years and Drogba is also a twice winner, in 2006 and 2009.

Samuel Eto'o and Ghana's Abedi Pele with four wins apiece have collected the accolade the most times in its 22-year history. The most recent Nigerian was Kwankwo Kanu in 1999.

Mikel was part of the Nigeria side that triumphed in the Africa Cup of Nations back in February, the first time for his nation since 1994 and he helped them qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil.

Today's award ceremony takes place in Lagos with the Footballer of the Year decided by votes from the head coaches of the national teams. Mikel has flown out to Nigeria and will return straight after the awards.