Lagos- Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has been named the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Footballer of the Year.
It is a third straight title for Toure, who also won December’s BBC African Footballer of the Year award.
He was up against fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba, of Galatasaray, and Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi. Toure, 30, emulates Abedi Pele and Samuel Eto’o with a hat-trick of wins. Ghanaian Abedi Pele won three in a row between 1991-93 while Cameroonian Eto’o took the award from 2003-05.
Toure may not have won a major trophy for club and country last year but his class has shone through at both domestic level and for the Elephants of Ivory Coast. He was honoured at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday. Toure’s form also led to him being the only African to be included on the 23-man shortlist for Fifa’s World Player of the Year.
His closest rival for the Caf award was Mikel, 26, who helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and also featured in Chelsea’s Europa League win.
Former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu was the last Nigerian star to win the prestigious award in 1999.
Ex-Chelsea favourite Drogba, 35, was runner-up in 2012 but won the Caf award in 2006 and 2009.