Gabonese forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has bagged the most prestigious individual award in African football -the CAF African Player of the Year, for the year 2015.
The Borussia Dortmund striker had to beat famous Ivorian Yaya Toure and Ghana’s André Ayew to grab the award. The award was presented to him yesterday, being Thursday, 7th January, 2016 during the Glo-CAF Awards gala held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria.
Aubameyang has been one of Europa’s deadliest strikers this season, scoring twenty seven goals in twenty seven games in all competitions. Despite failing to win a major trophy with Dortmund, Aubameyang benefited from his excellent performance through the year. The classy striker frequently made the headlines with his fine displays, especially in the second half of 2015. He also leads the list of the Bundesliga’s top scorers with 18 goals in 17 matches.
The 26-year-old dethroned Manchester City’s midfielder Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast, winner of the last award for the last consecutive four years running(2011-2014), as well as Swansea City’s Andre Ayew of Ghana who lay third on the list. In a vote of coaches and technical directors of Confederation of African Football (CAF) member-nations, Aubameyang tallied 143 points ahead of Manchester City and Ivory Coast star Toure, who scored 136 points.
He is the first Gabonese to win the award since its inception, and has been a key part of Borussia Dortmund’s season, scoring 24 goals in all since August 2015. He set a Bundesliga record by scoring in the first six matches of a season; a feat which had never been done in the 53-year history of the German top flight.
Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba paid tribute to Aubameyang who stands to be key to the country’s hopes of lifting the African Cup of Nations on home soil in 2017. He said,
The epitome of commitment and success at the highest level, this exceptional Gabonese demonstrated dazzling intuition and an attack of unparalleled velocity,” said the Gabon president in a statement.
His genius is a major asset for the Panthers in preparation for the next African Cup of Nations.
The event, sponsored by Nigerian telecommunication outfit, Globacom, was a night to celebrate and reward sporting excellence. the event also showcased superb and first-class entertainment personalities from different parts of Africa. There were musical performances by Ghana’s Shatta Wale, Morocco’s Ahmed Soultan, Mali’s Salif Keita, DR Congo’s Awilo Longomba and Nigeria’s King Sunny Ade, Dija, Korede Bello, Flavour, Omawumi, Bez and Ego.
Below is a list of the Awards and Awardees at the occasion:
CAF Platinum Award – President Buhari
Leader of the year Award – Abdiqani Said Arab (Somalia)
African Player of the Year based in Africa Award – Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania). Second place went to Baghdad B-Algeria/ Etoile
African Legend of the Year Award – Charles Kumi Gyamfi, Samuel Mbappe Leppe
Referee of the Year Award – Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
Women Player of the Year Award– Gaelle Enganamouit (Cameroon)
Coach of the Year Award – Herve Renard (France) -Former coach of Cote D’Ivoire
Youth Player of the Year Award – Nigeria’s Golden Eaglet Victor Osimhen
Most Promising Talent Award – Etebo Ogenekaro of Warri Wolves and the U-23 National Team of Nigeria
Club Team of the Year Award – TP Mazembe of Congo
Fair Play Award – Senegalese supporters group AKA Aleez Casa
Women National Team of the Year Award – Cameroon
National Team of the Year – Ivory Coast
Charles Kumi GYAMFI (Ghana)
Samuel MBAPPE LEPPE (Cameroon)
Africa’s Finest xi:
Goalkeeper: Robert Muteba KIDIABA (DR Congo)
Defenders: Serge AURIER (Cote d’Ivoire), Aymen ABDENNOUR (Tunisia), Mohamed MEFTAH (Algeria)
Midfielders: Andre AYEW (Ghana), Yaya TOURE (Cote d’Ivoire), Sadio MANE (Senegal), Yacine BRAHIMI (Algeria)
Forwards: Mbwana Aly SAMATTA (Tanzania), Pierre-Emerrick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon), Baghdad BOUNEDJAH (Algeria)
Djigui DIARRA (Mali)
Azubuike OKECHUKWU (Nigeria)
Kelechi NWAKALI (Nigeria)
Zinedine FERHAT (Algeria)
Adama TRAORE (Mali)
Victor OSIMHEN (Nigeria)
Kermit ERASMUS (South Africa)