Ghana's Michael Essien has been named among the five nominees for the 2008 African Footballer of the Year award across the world.
The organisers, Caf, have made innovations to the awards event with the introduction of two categories for the best player awards.
CAF Director of Communications, Sulemana Habuba announced the creation of the Glo-CAF Best Player on the Continent and the Glo-CAF Best Player across the World.
The Chelsea player will be competing against Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast and Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor, for the Best Player across the world award.
Other nominees for the coveted award across the world are: Mohamed Aboutreika (Al-Ahly, Egypt) and Amr Zaki (Wigan Athletic, Egypt).
Coaches of the 53-National associations affiliated to CAF, will decide for the best player across the world award category.
Drogba, who is Essien's team-mate at Chelsea, beat the Ghanaian midfielder to the gong in the last two editions of the awards held in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
This is the third time that Michael Essien has been short listed for the prestigious award.
For the shortlist for the Glo-CAF Best Player on the continent: Mohamed Aboutreika (Al- Ahly, Egypt), Ahmed Hassan (Al-Ahly, Egypt), Flavio Amado (Al-Ahly, Angola), Tresor Mputu Mabi (T.P. Mazembe, DR Congo) and Stephen Worgu (Enyimba, Nigeria).
According to Caf, the continental award would be decided by votes from coaches of the group phase clubs of the CAF-MTN Champions League.
The final three of the two categories would be named before the Awards Gala fixed for Cotonou, Benin in December 2008.
Mali's Frederic Kanoute won the flagship award held in Togo last year.