The Manchester City of England player was adjudged the African Footballer of the Year for the third consecutive year by the Confederation of African Football, CAF, at a glamorous coronation ceremony Thursday night.
His name was announced before a packed audience at the 2013 Glo-CAF Awards ceremony held at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, beating Mikel who Nigerians had tipped to win the award, and Drogba to the coveted laurel.
There was total silence when Nigeria’s ex-international, Sunday Oliseh and co-host, South Africa’s Carol Tshabalala announced Toure as the winner before the CAF President, Alhaji Issa Hayatou, Globacom’s Group Executive Director, Miss Abimbola Adenuga and the representative of Governor Babatunde Fashola presented the trophy and certificate to Toure.
After receiving the award Toure told the audience which included Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State that he was surprised that he could be third time lucky.
“I’m proud to be here and I’m so happy to be the winner. I must confess that it’s unbelievable to win this award in the face of competition from Mikel and Drogba. The contest was quite tight because they were equally good opponents. It is just that I was lucky and I’m very proud of myself.
“This is an award that focuses on individual performance of what I did for my country and my club last year not what I won with my country because Nigeria were better than us last year especially at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
“I want to say that I will continue to work harder for my country, my club and the entire African football and I believe that things will get better for my country in the future,” said Toure during a brief session he had with sports journalists after the award ceremony.
In his message to the continent at the event, Globacom’s Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr, (GCON), represented by the company’s Head of Post Paid Sales, expressed delight at the giant strides African football is making across the world. “The quality of football played in the elite leagues around the continent from South Africa to Morocco, Nigeria and beyond, has improved significantly,” he said.
The Convention Centre was electrified by the performances by Lagbaja, D’banj, Lira from South Africa, Flavor, P Square, Sherifa from Ghana, Zainab from Benin Republic and other African and international artistes.