Samuel Eto’o has won the CAF African Footballer of the Year award for a record fourth time after he was named the continent’s best player in 2010 at a ceremony in Egypt on Monday night.
The Cameroonian who won the European Champions league, the Italian Serie A, the Italian Cup and Super-Cup, and the World Club Cup came ahead of Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan and Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba.
“I would like to seek your support to help Africa win the World Cup,” Eto’o said to Issa Hayatou,the chairman of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) while receiving the award.
The Inter Milan striker said the African continent has quality players, coaches and managers to be be able to attain that ojective.
He also heaped praise on TP Mazembe of the Congo Democratic Republic for flying Africa’s flag at the just ended FIFA World Club Cup. TP Mazembe became the first African team to reach the final of that tournament but were beaten 3-0 by Europe’s Inter Milan, with Eto’o scoring and providing an assist for the Italians.
The runner-up, Ghana’s Gyan who was named BBC African Footballer of the Year last Friday, said he was young and had many years ahead of him to win the award.
“It’s a surprise to see me standing here before all these big men of Africa,” he said in reference to his youth and the achievements he had already made.
Gyan was the lead scorer for the Black Stars of Ghana who reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Africa this year.
He missed a last minute penalty that would have taken Ghana to the semi-finals of the competition but showed great courage as he took and scored a penalty kick during the shoot-out at the end of the match.
He may well return as a challenger for this award if he maintains his current club form at Sunderland in the English Premier League where he has been very influential in terms of goals and assists.
Gyan, Eto’o, and Drogba feature in CAF’s African Eleven of the year which also includes Egypt’s national team captain Ahmed Hassan who won the award for the Best African Footballer based in the African continent.