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The Ivorian is delighted to find himself in the top 10 due to the quality of players from the continent, and claims that winning it would be the ultimate prize

Arsenal striker Gervinho has spoken of his delight after finding out that he is on the shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year award.

The Ivorian is on the shortlist alongside four other representatives of the Premier League and a former team-mate.

In total, 10 players have been nominated. These are Manchester City's Yaya Toure, Chelsea's Didier Drogba, QPR's Adel Taarabt, Sunderland's Asamoah Gyan, Gervinho's former team-mate at Lille Moussa Sow, Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Samuel Eto'o and Seydou Keita.

And the Arsenal man feels winning the award would be the ultimate prize. He told the club's official website: “It would mean a lot. Every African player dreams of winning this award. I was choked to learn I got shortlisted for that award.
 
“There are so many good players in Africa that it’s a pleasure just to know I am among the 10 best players.
 
“If I am fortunate enough to win it I will be very happy, even more so at my young age. If I don’t win this trophy I will still be happy to be one of the ten best players of the year.”

The striker is expected to be in the Ivory Coast squad that will play in the African Cup of Nations in January and will be away from the Premier League for up to four weeks, but he insists he leaves with a heavy heart.
 
He added: “It has always been like that. It is always difficult to leave your mates and your club in the middle of the season for another competition.
 
“I am doing it for my country so it is not in vain. It is always a great pleasure to fight for your own country.”

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