FORMER Blackburn Rovers striker Rudy Gestede is one of 37 nominees for the African Footballer of the Year award.

The Benin international, who turned 27 on Saturday, scored 22 goals in 44 appearances for Rovers last season before signing for Aston Villa for £6m in the summer.

Andre Ayew, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama, Yannick Bolasie and Yaya Toure are also on the shortlist.