Wednesday,22 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1229, (15 -21 January 2015)
Wednesday,22 August, 2018
Issue 1229, (15 -21 January 2015)

Ahram Weekly

It’s No. 4 for Toure

Al-Ahram Weekly

MANCHESTER City midfielder Yaya Toure has become the first player to be named African Footballer of the Year four years in a row.

Toure, 31, was chosen after playing a pivotal role in winning the Premier League and League Cup. He also helped Ivory Coast qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Toure beat off the challenge of Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

The African award is decided by votes from coaches or technical directors of the continent’s national teams.

Midfielder Toure scored 20 goals in City’s title-winning campaign and also netted the equaliser in the 3-1 Capital One Cup final victory over Sunderland at Wembley in March last year.

He has nine goals in 26 appearances for City in all competitions so far this season, including six goals in his last nine outings.

Toure also made the FIFA shortlist for the 2014 Ballon d’or prize in October.

However, he has also had to contend with the disappointment of being part of an Ivory Coast side that lost two out of their three World Cup games in Brazil last year. He was given the news of his brother Ibrahim’s death only hours after the team lost their second World Cup match 2-1 to Colombia.

Everton striker Samuel Eto’o is the only other player to win the African Footballer of the Year award four times but his achievement was not in successive years.

Toure polled 175 votes against 120 by Aubameyang whilst Enyeama settled for third place with 105 points.

Spotting black pants with black blazers to match, an elated Toure was presented with the prize in the Nigerian capital Lagos on Thursday 8 January by CAF President Issa Hayatou and assisted by Emmanuel Uduaghan, governor of Delta State.

An emotion-filled Toure said: “I thank Allah for all the achievements. I have been blessed all these years. I also thank my fans.”

For the African Player of the Year (based in Africa), DR Congo forward Firmin Mubele Ndombe got the crown at the expense of Algerian duo, Akram Djahnit and El Hedi Belamieri in a keen contest.

 The AS Vita forward garnered 136 points, seven richer than Djahnit. Belamieri finished in third position with 126 points.

Adds The show to honour Africa’s finest football personalities was a fusion of musical performances from renowned artistes including sensational twins P-Square who entertained the guests with their captivating dance moves.

The masked one and Afro-Calypso originator, Lagbaja, also performed “Shake,” and “Ada Ada”. Also on hand was crooner Flavour, ASEM from Ghana, Fally Ipupa of DR Congo, global jazz icon Hugh Masekela, Hakim of Egypt, the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa and Tanzania award winning singer Diamond.

The Women’s Player of the Year went to Nigeria midfielder Asisat Oshoala, who also scooped the Youth Player of the Year prize. The Super Falcons also got the Women’s National Team of the Year award.

Algeria had their stellar year rewarded with the National Team of the Year whilst local side ES Setif was named Club of the Year and their coach Kheireddine Madoui. Algeria midfielder Yacine Brahimi was crowned the Most Promising Talent of the Year for his exploits during the year under review.

There was an emotional part to the ceremony as three surviving members of Oryx Douala class of 1964, maiden winners of the CAF Champions League picked up the Legend award. The trio, Epete Maurice, Colbert Kotto and Moukoko De Cofiance, were accompanied by president of the club, Moudouthe, to pick up the prize.

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