Reial Mallorca's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has been named as a candidate for African Player of the Year, to be voted on at the end of November. Eto'o, who took third place last year, joins former Mallorca team mate Lauren Etame Mayer, now of Arsenal, and Aston Villa's Moroccan star Mustapha Hadji in the list of 40 candidates. Eto'o, still only 20 years-old, is highly regarded in the African continent and is now making a name for himself in Europe after his lightning quick speed and silky skills have set pulses racing in the Spanish league. As well as being the youngest player at the France '98 World Cup, Eto'o scored in the 2000 Sydney Olympic final gifting Cameroon the gold medal. The only other Spanish-based player in the reckoning is Deportivo's defender Nurredín Naybet of Morocco. Eto'o received another boost yesterday when the Cameroon F.A. announced they would allow the player to join up with the national side on Monday, instead of over the weekend. The decision means Eto'o will be able to face Real Sociedad in Sunday's league match in San Sebastian before flying to Cameroon for two friendly internationals. Meanwhile Mallorca's Argentine defender Gustavo Siviero said yesterday he was “fully prepared” to play against Real Sociedad “if the boss deems it necessary”. Siviero has been out of the game for four months after going under the knife in the off-season, but has now fully recovered and could replace the suspended Javier Olaizola on Sunday.


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