Football: Yaya Toure wins fourth straight African player of the year award

Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrates after scoring the opening goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England January 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrates after scoring the opening goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England January 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LAGOS (AFP) - Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfield star Yaya Toure on Thursday became the first player to win four successive African Footballer of the Year awards.

The 31-year-old beat off the challenge of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who plays for Lille in France.

Toure equalled Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o as a four-time winner, but he is the first to claim four awards in a row.

Toure, who first won the prestigious African award in 2011, led Manchester City to the English Premier League title last season as well as helped his country to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Coaches and technical directors of the 54 member countries of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) took part in the vote.

Ndombe Mubele, who scored six goals as AS Vita of DR Congo reached the final of the Champions League, was picked as Africa's best player based in Africa.

Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala beat compatriot Desire Oparanozie and Cameroon goalkeeper Annette Ngom Ndom to be crowned Africa's best female star of 2014. She also won the Youth Player of the Year Award.

The 20-year-old Oshoala, who was voted the MVP and top scorer of the 2014 Fifa Under-20 Women's World Cup in Canada, joins former Nigeria stars as Mercy Akide and Perpetua Nkwocha who also won the accolade.

Algeria were picked as Africa's best national team of last year after they reached the knockout rounds of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

However, their coach Vahid Halilhodzic was pipped to the CAF Coach of the Year Award by Kheireddine Madoui who took ES Setif to the African Champions League title.

The Algerian club also upstaged Egypt's Al Ahly to be named Club of the Year.

AWARD WINNERS

African Player of the Year: Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast and Manchester City)

African Player of the Year - Based in Africa: Ndombe Mubele (DR Congo and AS Vita)

Women's Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Rivers Angels)

Youth Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Rivers Angels)

Most Promising Talent: Yacine Brahimi (Algeria and FC Porto)

Coach of the Year: Kheireddine Madoui (ES Setif)

National Team of the Year: Algeria

Women's National Team of the Year: Nigeria

Club of the Year: ES Setif (Algeria)

Referee of the Year: Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia)