Adebayor named African Player of the Year
Adebayor, who is the current BBC African Footballer of the Year, collected the award at a Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi.
The award caps a fine year for the Togolese striker who was the Premier League’s golden boot runner-up for 2007/08 after scoring 24 goals in just 32 starts.
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.