Last night, Cote d’Ivoire international and Manchester City’s midfield powerhouse – Yaya Toure won the Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Footballer of the Year Award for the third successive year.
Yaya saw off competition from Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, and Cote d’Ivoire compatriot and Galatasaray’s striker, Didier Drogba to pick the award at the Glo/CAF award ceremony held in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday night.
Upon receiving his award, Toure declared: “I am very proud and very happy to receive this award, but would also like to congratulate my brothers, John Obi Mikel and Didier Drogba.”
Yaya Toure had earlier won the BBC African Footballer of the Year award in December 2013.
By winning the 22nd CAF African Footballer of the Year award, Toure, 30, emulates Abedi Pele and Samuel Eto’o with a hat-trick of wins.
Ghanaian legend Abedi Pele won his three in a row between 1991 to 1993 while Cameroonian striker Eto’o did his from 2003 to 2005.
Toure who only won the FA Cup with Manchester City last year, won based on his pure class which shone through at both domestic level and for the Elephants of Ivory Coast and also saw him being the only African to be included on the 23-man shortlist for Fifa’s World Player of the Year.
Many had believed that Mikel, 26, who helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and also won the Europa League in 2013 with his club Chelsea, deserved the award more.
Drogba, 35, has also won the prestigious award twice in 2006 and 2009 and was a runner-up in 2012. The last Nigerian to win the award was Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.
Recent Caf Player of the Year winners
2013 Yaya Toure
2012 Yaya Toure
2011 Yaya Toure
2010 Samuel Eto’o
2009 Didier Drogba
2008 Emmanuel Adebayor
2007 Frederic Kanoute
2006 Didier Drogba
Congratulations Yaya Toure.