By Ameenu Shardow
Andre Ayew believes his chances of being named 2012 African Footballer of the Year are as good as his other competitors for the prestigious award.
The Ghana international is part of a five-man shortlist alongside Cameroonian Alexander Song, Senegal striker Demba Ba and the Ivorian duo of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure for the award which will be handed out on December 20 in Accra, Ghana.
The Olympique Marseille player emerged joint-top scorer for the Black Stars at the 2012 Nations Cup with two of Ghanaâ€™s five goals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
He has also been instrumental for his club in both domestic and continental competitions in the season under review.
Many have however criticized the choice of Demba Ba, Alex Song and Ayew to the snub of Zambia captain Chris Katongo who emerged the best player at the last Nations Cup.
But the 2009 U-20 World Cup winning captain believes he has done enough to deserve the nomination and is looking ahead to winning it this year after coming behind Seydou Keita and Yaya Toure in the previous edition.
â€œI am very much humbled by this nomination,â€ he told GHANAsoccernet.com.
â€œIt is every playerâ€™s dream to earn such recognition and I believe my hard work ensured I got on the shortlist.
â€œIt is true Iâ€™m competing against the finest players from Africa but we all stand an equal chance of winning.â€
Ayew is currently the reigning BBC African Footballer of the Year but will be unable to defend his title after failing to make the shortlist for the British media firm.