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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 19:57 GMT
Eto'o king of Africa once again
Samuel Eto'o
I have always dreamt of this moment so I followed the exploits of great players like Roger milla, who made me continue to believe in the strength of Africa
Samuel Eto'o

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o has been named the 2005 African Player of the Year at the Confederation of African Football's awards ceremony in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

The award means Eto'o becomes the first player to win the Caf trophy three times in a row, having also been selected as Africa's best in 2003 and 2004.

The Barcelona forward narrowly beat Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba to the award, with Michel Essien of Ghana the other defeated candidate.

Eto'o's tally of 108 votes was just two better than Drogba's 106, with Essien claiming only 50 votes from Caf's member nations.

"I wish to thank my mother, first and foremost," the Cameroon star said.

"Secondly, I dedicate this to all the people who helped me in my career.

"Above all, I dedicate this to all the children of Africa."

Meanwhile, Nigeria teenager John Mikel Obi won the 2005 Young Player of the Year award, pipping compatriot Taye Taiwo to the prize with 29 votes to 28.

The 18-year-old midfielder is rewarded for his outstanding displays as Nigeria finished runners-up at last year's World Youth Championship in Holland.

In a move that could embarrass the Togolese Football Federation (TFF), former Hawks boss Stephen Keshi was named as the Coach of the Year.

The Nigerian was dismissed earlier this week following Togo's poor showing at this year's African Nations Cup, even though TFF president Rock Gnassingbe told BBC Sport no decision had yet been made.

The Team of the Year went to Ivory Coast, who qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time last year above serial finalists Cameroon.

Egypt's African champions Ahly were predictable winners of the Club of the Year. In 2005, they not only won the Champions League but also established a run of 55 games without defeat.

Mohamed Barakat, who won the BBC African Footballer of 2005 award, was named as the best player in Africa's continental club competition.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's Perpetua Nkwocha retained the African Female Footballer of the Year award that she first won for 2004.

Samuel Eto'o becomes the first player to win the Caf award three times in a row, although Ghana's Abedi Pele won the award handed out by France Football magazine between 1991 and 1994.

France Football determined the award winner between 1970 and 1994, but Caf has awarded its own prize since 1992 and although Pele won that year's Caf award, the 1993 prize went to Nigeria's Rashidi Yekini.

CAF AWARD WINNERS

African Player of the Year:

Samuel Eto'o - Cameroon, Barcelona (Spain)

Young Player of the Year:

John Mikel Obi - Nigeria, Lyn Oslo (Norway)

Female Player of the Year:

Perpetua Nkwocha - Nigeria

Coach of the Year:

Stephen Keshi - Togo

National Team of the Year:

Ivory Coast

Inter-clubs Player of the Year:

Mohamed Barakat - Ahly (Egypt)

Inter-Club Team of the Year:

Ahly (Egypt)




SEE ALSO
Eto'o tipped for top award
16 Feb 06 |  African
Eto'o retains African award
15 Feb 05 |  African
Eto'o wins African award
30 Apr 04 |  African


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