Emmanuel Adebayor Named African Player Of The Year

The CAF (Confederation of African Football) has crowned the Arsenal striker the king of the continent...
Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor was Tuesday night named CAF African Player of the Year for 2008 at an elaborate awards ceremony in Lagos.

Adebayor beat Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt and Ghana’s Michael Essien to win the prestigious award, which involved voting by the national team coaches of CAF’s member-nations.

“This is a special night for me. I dedicate this award to my mum, without her, I would be nothing. My father is no more but where ever he is, he will be proud of me,” said Adebayor, who was accompanied by his mother.

Adebayor took away a crystal trophy and a cash prize of $20,000.
  
This is the first time that a Togolese will be voted as Africa’s best player.

The Arsenal star's exploits of the past year were mainly with his English Premier League club. In the absence of France international Thierry Henry, who moved to Spanish club Barcelona, the Togo star stepped up to finish the season with an impressive tally of 30 goals.

The striker also inspired Togo to reach the final qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations.

The awards night was graced by many dignitaries including FIFA president Joseph Blatter and CAF president Issa Hayatou.

Ahly’s Aboutrika got a consolation prize as the Inter-Club Player of the Year.

Several other Egyptians won various award categories. Egypt coach, Hassan Shehata was Africa’s Coach of the Year, and the team he led to successfully defend the Nations Cup in Accra last year were picked as the best national team on the continent.

Ahly were crowned Club of the Year ahead of Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien, who defended the CAF Confederation Cup, and beaten CAF Champions League finalists, Cotonsport from Cameroon.

Salomon Kalou of Ivory Coast and Chelsea was the CAF Young Player of the Year ahead of Cameroon’s Stephane Mbia and Nigerian forward Victor Obinna Nsofor.

The list of award winners:
 
    CAF Player of the Year

    Emmanuel Adebayor - Togo/Arsenal
   
    CAF Young Player

    Salomon Kalou - Ivory Coast/Chelsea
    
    CAF Female Player

    Alice Matlou - South Africa
  
   National Team of the Year

   Egypt
  
   Coach of the Year

   Hassan Shehata - Egypt
  
   Best Club

   Ahly - Egypt

   Inter-Club Player of the Year

   Mohamed Aboutrika - Al Ahly

   African Legend

   Christian Chukwu - Nigeria
   

Samm Audu, Goal.com