DP's note: So this isn't the "official" (CAF) African Player of the Year, this one's the BBC's public-vote-online-or-by-SMS version, which makes it even more of a popularity contest than most awards. And Mikel's popularity is just about at an all-time high despite (or perhaps because of) not playing much recently. Both Mikel & Moses have been nominated.
Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, has been shortlisted for the BBC African Player of the year mostly on the back of his inspirational performances during the 2013 AFCON that helped Nigeria win the trophy for the first time since 1994 (19 years ago). On the road to the trophy, Mikel's performances helped eliminate Yaya Toure & Ivory Coast (quater finals); Seydou Keita & Mali (Semi Finals) and Jonathan Pitroipa & Burkina Faso (Finals). He was voted the official man of the match in four out of the six games that Nigeria played in the tournament.
Mikel's club form in 2013 suffered a bit due to managerial instability and injury that knocked him out of action for two months but he played a role in helping Chelsea in the Europa League Trophy and elimination of Manchester United from Capital One and FA Cup completions. Lastly, after seven years at the club in a holding midfield role that restricts his creative and attacking instincts, he finally scored his first league goal against Fulham this season.
Mikel Obi has been a faithful Chelsea servant who plays his role diligently without any fuss when called upon and has been an integral part of many title wining efforts including 4 FA Cups, 2 Carling Cups, 1 EPL Title, 1 Europa League and 1 Champions League title. Suffice it to say that Mikel needs and deserves our support, so please click the link and vote for John Mikel Obi.