African footballer of the year winners list. Without a doubt, Africa has provided some of the greatest footballers ever not to be forgotten in football history as we take a look at the past winners of African best player of the year award.
The African Footballer of the Year award, an honorary award presented to the best African footballer of each year and has been issued by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 1992.
Before then, as early as the 70’s, the African Footballer of the Year Golden Ball award had been solely organized by the France Football magazine between 1970 and 1994.
The changes in 1992 resulted in both parties (CAF and France Football magazine) organize different occasions and award different players with the Golden Ball awards.
It is obvious that CAF’s Award for the best player in the continent was organised to rival the France magazine awards.
Meanwhile in 1992, two African footballer of the year award was organised from the two party with both won by Abedi Pele.
1993 and 1994 saw the magazine sponsored awards won by Abedi Pele and George Weah respectively while the CAF awards for the mentioned year was won by Rashidi Yekini and Emmanuel Amuneke respectively.
Due to some controversial reason, France Football withdraw from the African best award in 1995, after the invention of European Ballon d’Or which was open to all players across the European leagues ( including non-European players) and was also awarded by the France magazine.
Facts about the African Best Award
- Salif Keita is the first player to win the African best player of the year award in 1970 organized by the France Football magazine.
- Abedi Pele is the first player to win the CAF awards of the African best player.
- Samuel Eto’o was the first player to be crowned the African best on four occasions.
- Cote d’Ivoire is the country which has the biggest number of triumphs ( 6 times).
- Nwankwo Kanu is the first player to be crowned the award on two different occasions.
- Cameroon Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast Yaya Touré are the joint top winners of the awards (4 wins each).
- Yaya Touré is the only player to have won the award on a four consecutive times repeatedly.
- Didier Drogba is the most appeared/nominated player on the top three (9 times) also the most runner-up (4), most third place finishes (3).
- Frédéric Kanouté, Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (all born in France) are the only European-born players to have won the award.
- Only 18 players have graced the CAF awards since 1992.
- All winners of the CAF player of the year award has come from an European club during their years of winning.
African footballer of the year winners list – Full List
France Football Award 1970 – 1994
The award by France Football magazine was awarded to the best African footballer between 1970 and 1994.
|1978||Karim Abdoul Razak||Ghana|
|1980||Jean Manga Onguene||Cameroon|
|1983||Mahmoud Al Khatib||Egypt|
|1991||Abedi Pele Ayew||Ghana|
|1992||Abedi Pele Ayew||Ghana|
CAF Awards 1992 – Till date
|1992||Abedi Pele Ayew||Ghana||Olympique Marseille|
|1993||Rashidi Yekini||Nigeria||Vitoria de Setubal|
|1994||Emmanuel Amunike||Nigeria||Sporting Lisbon|
|1995||George Weah||Liberia||AC Milan|
|1996||Nwankwo Kanu||Nigeria||Inter Milan|
|1998||Mustapha Hadji||Morocco||Deportivo Coruna|
|2001||El Hadji Diouf||Senegal||Rennes|
|2002||El Hadji Diouf||Senegal||Arsenal|
|2003||Samuel Eto’o||Cameroon||Real Mallorca|
|2006||Didier Drogba||Ivory Coast||Chelsea|
|2009||Didier Drogba||Ivory Coast||Chelsea|
|2010||Samuel Eto’o||Cameroon||Inter Milan|
|2011||Yaya Toure||Ivory Coast||Manchester City|
|2012||Yaya Toure||Ivory Coast||Manchester City|
|2013||Yaya Toure||Ivory Coast||Manchester City|
|2014||Yaya Toure||Ivory Coast||Manchester City|
|2015||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Gabon||Borussia Dortmund|
|2016||Riyad Mahrez||Algeria||Leicester City|
- African player of the year 2017: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England and Egypt)
- African player of the year 2018: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England and Egypt)
- African player of the year 2019: Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England and Senegal)
- African player of the year 2020: ??????
Players with Multiple Awards
Below goes the list of players that have won the African Player of the Year Award more than once.
With Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure top the chart of the most winners of the African Player of the Year Award winning it on four(4) different occasions each.
The list goes below …
- Samuel Eto’o – 4 times
- Yaya Touré – 4 times
- George Weah – 3 times
- Abedi Pele – 3 times
- Didier Drogba – 2 times
- Rogger Milla – 2 times
- Mohammed Salah – 2 times
- Nwankwo Kanu – 2 times
- El Hadji Diouf – 2 times
*Note* Only Mohammed Salah from the above list is still currently playing.