The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has released the top three nominees for the 2006 African Player of the Year Award.
Drogba, Eto'o and Essien have all enjoyed outstanding years
Chelsea's Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien both make the final three.
Three times winner and holder of the 2005 award Barcelona's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o is the final candidate.
The winner will be announced from the Caf Awards ceremony, which is set to be held in Accra, Ghana on 1 March 2007.
Nwankwo Kanu and Mohammed Aboutraika missed out after being included in the initial five-man shortlist.