Gabon skipper Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was on Thursday named the best African Footballer of the year for 2015 at the confederation of Africa Football award Gala held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Borussia Dortmund lanky forward garnered 143 votes, beating off competition from Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure who bagged 136 votes.
Toure had won the award for unprecedented four years in succession from 2011-2015 and was the favourite for a fifth, but it was Aubameyang who emerged top, becoming the first player from central African country to win the accolade.
Aubameyang scored 29 Bundesliga goals in 2015, including 18 this season plus a further seven in the Europa League making him one of the most prolific strikers in Europe.
Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o Fils has also won the award four times, while Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu, El Hadj Diouf of Senegal and Yaya’s compatriot Didier Drogba have scooped it twice each.
Elsewhere, Tanzanian rising star Mbwana Ally Samatta was crowned Africa based’s best player.
Samatta, who finished as the top scorer when his side, TP Mazembe won the CAF Champions League overcame his teammate Robert Kidiaba to win his maiden gong.
Full list of winners
African Player of the Year: Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang, 2nd Yaya Toure
African Player of the Year – based in Africa Award; Mbwana Aly Samatta, 2nd Robert Kidiaba
Men’s National Team of the Year: Ivory Coast beat Ghana and Nigeria U17
Women’s National Team of the Year: Cameroon beat off competition from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Fair play award: Allez Casa of Senegal
Club of the Year: TP Mazembe beat USM Alger, Orlando Pirates, Etoile du Sahel
Most Promising Talent; Etebo Oghenekaro
Youth Player of the Year award; Victor Osimhen
Coach of the Year; Herve Renard
Women’s Player of the Year; Gaene Enganamouit
Referee of the Year; Bakary Papa Gassama – Gambia
African Legend: Charles Kumi Gyami (Ghana) and Samuel Mbappe Leppe (Cameroon)
Football Leader of the Year; Abdiqani Said Arab (Somalia)
Platinum Award: Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria
Africa Finest XI:
Goalkeeper: Robert Muteba KIDIABA (DR Congo)
Defenders: Serge AURIER (Cote d’Ivoire), Aymen ABDENNOUR (Tunisia), Mohamed MEFTAH (Algeria)
Midfielders: Andre AYEW (Ghana), Yaya TOURE (Cote d’Ivoire), Sadio MANE (Senegal), Yacine BRAHIMI (Algeria)