Al-Ahram Weekly Online   23 February - 1 March 2006
Issue No. 783
Sports
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Three in a row


Samuel Eto'o Fils was awarded the African Player of the Year for the third time in row at the GLO/CAF Awards in Abuja, Nigeria.

Eto'o managed to beat his great rival Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast in the closely contested award, garnering 108 points to Drogba's 106 points. Michael Essien of Ghana and Chelsea finished a distant third with 50 points.

The 53 member nations of CAF voted for the winners of the annual awards.

The FC Barcelona star also won the prestigious honour in 2003 and 2004 to now equal the record of Ghana's Abedi Pele, who won the award in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Last year, Eto'o helped his team to win the Spanish league crown.

Eto'o dedicated his award to all the children of Africa. "I wish to thank my mother, first and foremost. Secondly, I also thank all the people who helped me in my career," he said. "Above all, I dedicate this to all the children of Africa."

He said he was lucky his dream to become a great player was now coming true. "I have always dreamt of this moment and so I followed the exploits of such great players like Roger Milla, who made me to continue to dream and believe in the strength of Africa," he said.

"I also knew that if I listen to my coaches, teammates and my parents, I will be a great player. The struggle became harder and harder but I got some luck to become an African legend because for the third time running, I have won this prestigious award.

"So, young African brothers, you have to serve this beautiful continent."

Nigeria midfielder John Mikel Obi, 18, was named Africa's best young player for the past year after he inspired the country's team to reach the final of the FIFA World Youth Championship in The Netherlands. He beat compatriot Taye Taiwo 29 points to 28.

Nigeria's Perpetua Nkwocha retained the African women's top prize she first won in 2004.

African club champions Ahli of Egypt, who put together a 55-game unbeaten run beginning from 2004, were picked as the Club of the Year while Stephen Keshi was voted Africa's best coach for guiding unfancied Togo to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Rabeh Madjer of Algeria received a legend award in recognition of his past exploits. He starred for his native country at both the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and became the first African player to win a UEFA Champions League winners' medal when his club FC Porto defeated Bayern Munich.

Other award winners were Ahli's Mohamed Barakat (Inter-Club Player of the Year), Cote d'Ivoire (Best National Team) while Cameroon won the Fair Play Award.

Winners of the Globacom/CAF Awards 2005 and how they finished:

African Player of the Year:

Drogba Didier ( Cote d'Ivoire) - Chelsea (106 points)

Essien Michael (Ghana) - Chelsea (50 points)

Eto'o Samuel (Cameroon) - Barcelona (108 points)

Young Player of the Year

Farag Ahmed ( Egypt and Sochaux) (12 points)

Mikel John Obi (Nigeria and Lyn) (29 points)

Taye Taiwo ( Nigeria and Marseille) (28 points)

Female player of the Year

Adjoa Bayor (Ghana) (20 points)

Okolo Vera (Nigeria) (15 points)

Nkwocha Perpetua (Nigeria) (29 points)

Coach of the Year

Fakhir Mohamed (ASFAR, Morocco) (11 points)

Jose Manuel (Ahli, Egypt) (25 points)

Keshi Stephen (Togo national team) (40 points)

National Team of the Year

Cote d'Ivoire (30 points)

Nigeria Youth Team (15 points)

Togo (29 points)

Inter-clubs Player of the Year

Barakat Mohamed (Ahli) (46 points)

Efosa Eguakun (Dolphin) (14 points)

Sarraj Adil (ASFAR) (14 points)

Inter-Club Team of the Year

Ahli (Egypt) (46 points)

ASFAR (Morocco) (20 points)

ESS (Tunisia) (11 points)

African Legend award

Rabeh Madjer (Algeria)

African Merit Order of Achievement award

Dr Peter Odili (Nigeria)

Fair Play

Cameroon

Platinum Award

His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

President Federal Republic of Nigeria

Africa's Best IX

Goalkeeper:

Tony Sylva (Lille)

Defenders:

Hatem Trabelsi (Tunisia and Ajax D'Amsterdam)

Kolo Toure (Cote d'Ivoire and Arsenal)

Joseph Yobo (Nigeria and Everton)

Djimi Traore (Mali and Liverpool)

Midfielders:

Didier Zakoro (Cote d'Ivoire and AS Saint- Etienne)

Michael Essien (Ghana and Chelsea)

John Obi (Nigeria and Lyn)

Mohamed Barakat (Egypt and Ahli)

Forwards:

Samuel Eto'o Fils (Cameroon and Barcelona)

Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire and Chelsea)

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