Manchester City and Ivory Coast do-all midfielder Yaya Toure has been named African Player of the Year for the third consecutive time.
There can be little surprise considering dominant, rangy midfielder’s fabulous contributions in 2013 to club and country. Not only was Toure claimed the last two African player of the year honors, he was the only African named to the 23-man list of finalists for FIFA World Player of the Year.
No one has dominated the award since Samuel Eto’o claimed three in a row, the last of those in 2005.
Ivory Coast teammate Didier Drogba and Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel (from Nigeria) were this year’s other finalists, although neither had a list of accomplishments and peer accolades to match anything close to Toure’s.
Toure led his country’s successful World Cup qualification bid. But it was the head-spinning, powerhouse performances for Manchester City that probably helped secure the honor as much as anything. Toure’s two-way work – as smart and skillful as it is industrious – is right up there with Sergio Aguero’s goals as the primary reason City is just a point off the Premier League lead.
In fact, the award comes just 24 hours after Toure (who has even added an element of stunning free kicks to his considerable CV lately) rampaged forward to score in City’s 6-0 spanking of fellow PL club West Ham United in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final series. He has 13 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions for Manchester City this season.
Toure collected the award Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria.