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banner Friday, 4 January, 2002, 17:46 GMT
Kuffour named BBC African Player of the Year
Samuel Kuffour
Samuel Kuffour is the fan's choice of Player of the Year
Ghana's Samuel Kuffour has been named BBC African Player of the Year.

He beat Sierra Leone's Mohammed Kallon and Senegal's El Hadj Diouf to the title.

Thousands of fans took part in the online poll, with Kuffour gaining 55% of the votes cast.

  How they finished
1 - Samuel Kuffour (Ghana)
2 - Mohammed Kallon (Sierra Leone)
3 - Al Hadj Diouf (Senegal)

The Ghanaian defender told the BBC he was delighted with the award.

"Today is the fourth, I am the fourth born in my family, and I always wear shirt number four!", he said.

Kuffour is also favourite to land the official title of African Player of the Year.

That award is voted for by members of a panel selected by the Confederation of African Football, and will be announced in March.

Kuffour was a key part of the Bayern Munich team that won the European Cup in May 2001 and which landed the Bundesliga title.

Kuffour's kisses
Samuel Kuffour with the World Club Championship trophy
He also scored the only goal in the World Club Cup Final against Argentina's Boca Juniors.

Kuffour is one of the few African defensive players to be recognised as top quality.

His consistency at Bayern has made him one of Europe's most sort-after central defenders.

Like Liberia's George Weah, his home country's lack of international clout means his acheivements are likely to be limited to club level.

BBC football correspondent Mark Gleeson, who is one of the Caf panellists, said Kuffour deserved to be Player of the Year because, "At just 25-years-old, he has emerged as a world-class defender."

Sammy Kuffour
'I've never won an award like this and I'm so glad'
See also:

08 Nov 01 |  Africa
Kuffour is 2001 king
18 Jul 01 |  Africa
Diouf holds the key
06 Nov 01 |  Africa
Best player short-list
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