Eto’o is Africa’s best footballer

AFP
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o (right) poses with Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan during the annual CAF awards ceremony in Cairo on Monday night. Eto’o was named African Footballer of the Year 2010 ahead of Gyan at the African Football Confederation (CAF) awards.

What you need to know:

  • Woman’s Footballer of the Year award goes to Perpetua Nkwocha whose prolific goal scoring exploits won Nigeria a seventh African title

Cairo

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o was named African Footballer of the Year for the fourth time at the annual CAF awards ceremony in Cairo on Monday.

The 29-year-old finished ahead of first-time finalist Asamoah Gyan of Ghana and former winner Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire in a poll among national coaches on the continent.

Eto’o, who won the most prestigious African football individual honour three years in a row from 2003, was voted the best player at the Fifa Club World Cup won by his Italian team Inter Milan last Saturday.

The Cameroonian scored a clinical, close-range second goal in a 3-0 triumph over TP Mazembe from Democratic Republic of Congo, the first African club to reach the final of the 10-year competition.

Most decorated player

Inter are now champions of the world, Europe and Italy and the goals of former Real Madrid, Real Mallorca and Barcelona star Eto’ o have played a pivotal role in those successes.

Eto’o is undoubtedly one of the most decorated players of his generation.

Besides being crowned CAF Footballer of the Year thrice (2003, 2004 and 2005) he also has chalked series of successes at both club and international level.

After winning almost everything in football with Catalan giants, Barcelona, he joined Inter Milan in the summer of 2009 and played a vital role as the Nerrazzurri completed a treble of Serie A title, Coppa Italia and the UFA Champions League.

Cameroon then fared disastrously at the first World Cup hosted by Africa last June, losing all three group matches under the leadership of Eto’o and were the first country eliminated from the competition.

TP Mazembe, the four-time African Champions League winners who stunned Internacional of Brazil 2-0 in the United Arab Emirates last week before finishing runners-up to Inter Milan, were named Club of the Year.

Milovan Rajevac, the Serb coach who made 2010 such a memorable year for Ghana, took the Coach of the Year award.

He resigned after the World Cup to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad Jeddah.

Woman Footballer of the Year

Other award winners included Al-Ahly and Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan (Africa-based Player) and Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah ( Most Promising Talent) while Ghana were predictably named best national team.

The Woman Footballer of the Year went to front runner Perpetua Nkwocha whose prolific goal scoring exploits won Nigerian Falcons the seventh CAF Africa Women’s Championship this year.

It’s Nkwocha’s third title after wins in 2004 and 2005.

Nigeria completed a clean sweep of the women’s awards with Falcons senior team beating their Under-20 side to the Women’ National Team of the Year award.

Presidential awards

The Presidential awards, given to those who have contributed immensely to the development of football, for this year went to the following presidents of federations:

Egypt: Samir Zaher, Ghana: Kwesi Nyantakyi, Algeria: Mohamed Raouraoua: Cote d’Ivore: Jacques Anouma, Cameroon: Iya Mohammed and South Africa: Kirsten Nematandani, Nigeria: Aminu Maigari. (Reporting by Xinhua and Cafonline)

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