African football expert and commentator Mark Gleeson believes Zambia skipper Chris Katongo stands no chance of winning the 2012 African Player of the Year.
After being named the Player of the tournament earlier in the year at the African Cup of Nations ahead of Ivory Coast powerhouses duo Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba, it has been mooted in some quarters that the Zambian captain could sneak away Africa’s top personal accolade.
Katongo is part of the 34-man shortlist CAF has unveiled for the 2012 African Player of the Year award.
Though the 30 year old has been in fine form for both club and country, Gleeson believes Katongo ‘is lost in terms of profile by playing in China.’
Didider Drogba, who led Chelsea to Champions League victory after the disappointment of failing to guide Ivory Coast to AFCON glory, now in China also does not stand any chance according to Gleeson.
“He [Chris Katongo] had a good CAN [African Cup of Nations] but the year is made up of 12 months. Unfortunately for him he is lost in terms of profile by playing in China,” Gleeson said in an interview with Zambianfootball.co.zm.
“Yaya Toure is the man for me, CAN finalist, winner of the toughest league etc. Belhanda second,” the South African based commentator said and even went to tip Moroccan ace Younes Belhanda for second slot.
In fairness, Belhanda, a highly rated French-born attacking midfielder turning out for Ligue 1 champions Montipellier might go head to head with another Zambian Emmanuel Mayuka for the CAF Young Player of the Year.
Mayuka, a Golden Boot winner at the African Cup of Nations is favourite to land the prize after making a high profile switch to English Premier League side Southampton.
But for Chris Katongo, it looks like a toll order in the quest for ever a second African Footballer of the Year title after compatriot Kalusha Bwalya won it in 1988.