Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure was crowned African Player of the Year for the fourth time in a row on Thursday January 8, 2015. The England-based midfielder achieved the historic feat of being the first player to have won the African Player of the Year award for four successive times at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon ) is the other Player to have won it four times from 2003 to 2005 and later in 2010.
Toure eased past Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama for the greatest individual honour in African football, decided by votes from Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF.
Yaya Toure, who previously won the title in 2011, 2012 and 2013 polled 175 votes against 120 by Aubameyang whilst Enyeama settled for third-place with 105 points.
Dressed in black pants with black blazers, a happy but emotional Toure received the award from CAF President Issa Hayatou who was assisted by Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State.
Toure said with emotions: “I thank Allah for all the achievements. I have been blessed all these years. I also thank my fans.”
DR Congo forward Firmin Mubele Ndombe got the crown for the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) ahead of Algerian duo, Akram Djahnit and El Hedi Belamieri in a close contest. The AS Vita forward garnered 136 points, seven richer than Djahnit. Belamieri finished in third position with 126 points.
The ceremony was attended by CAF President Issa Hayatou, members of the CAF Executive Committee amongst other stakeholders.
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 just “Shake,” and “Ada Ada” crooner, Flavour, ASEM from Ghana, Fally Ipupa of DR Congo, global jazz icon Hugh Masekela, Hakim of Egypt, 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 accompanied by President of the club, Moudouthe to pick up the prize.
Below are the full winners
African Player of the Year
Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester City)
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa
Firmin Mubele Ndombe (DR Congo and AS Vita)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and River Angels)
Youth Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and River Angels)
Most Promising Talent
Yacine Brahimi (Algeria and Porto)
Coach of the Year
Kheireddine Madoui (ES Setif)
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
Club of the Year
ES Setif (Algeria)
Referee of the Year
Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
Football Leader of the Year
Moise Katumbi Chapwe – President of TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
African Legend award
Oryx Club (Cameroon) – winners of the maiden edition of CAF Champions League 1964Stade Malien (Mali) – runner up of the maiden edition of CAF Champion’s League 1964
Dr Kwame Nkrumah (First President of Ghana)
His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan (President of Nigeria)
CAF Finest XI
Goalkeeper: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
Defenders: Jean Kasulula (DR Congo), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco), Stephane Mbia (Cameroon), Kwadwo Asamoah (Ghana)
Midfielders: Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Yacine Brahimi (Algeria), Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Tunisia), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria)
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Raïs M’Bolhi (Algeria), Firmin Mubele Ndombe (DR Congo), Ferdjani Sassi (Tunisia), Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho (Cote d’Ivoire), Abdelrahman Fetori (Libya), Akram Djahnit (Algeria), Roger Assalé (Cote d’Ivoire)