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Essien wins BBC African award

Michael Essien
Michael Essien is the 2006 BBC African Player of the Year

Ghana and Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has won the 2006 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.

In a live public vote on Friday, Essien received nearly twice as many votes as Ahly and Egypt playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.

For the first time in the history of the prize, the winner was decided live during the BBC World Service's flagship African sports programme Fast Track .

The BBC award takes into account the football calendar from January to December 2006 and includes domestic leagues, both the Uefa and Caf Champions League tournaments.

The African Nations Cup, the World Cup and the World Club Cup are also included within this period.

Your views on who deserved to win the BBC African Footballer of the Year award for 2006:

I vote for Mohammed Aboutrika because of his goals for Egypt and helping Ahly retain their title as the African Club Champions. Ibrahim Ceesay in Freetown

Undoubtedly the best African midfielder, it has got to be Michael Essien. B S Magashi, Benguema. Sierra Leone.

Michael Essien because he is the live wire and engine room of the team. M Kudodah, Abuja

Drogba and Essien are really in form for Chelsea, but I think Drogba has the edge with his crucial goals against big clubs. Mustapha Senghore, Gambia.

Drogba is the best striker in Africa by far. Baboucarr Bah, Gambia.

Aboutrika was instrumental for both club and country when Ahly and Egypt won the Caf Champions League and the Nations Cup in 2006. Chinedu Obediah, Bonny Island, Nigeria.

Drogba's scoring prowess is second to none - he is just fantanstic. P.H.Henry, Nigeria

Aboutrika deserves to win the award because he was outstanding in African competitions and even the Club World Cup. Friday Simon, Nigeria

Essien deserves the prize because of his performances with Chelsea and Ghana in the World Cup. Isaac Opoku, Liberia.

Essien has been the most solid African performer during the period. Football isn't all about scoring goals. Essien's the best by a mile and a half. Bowie Attamah, Lagos

Michael Essien is the machine for Chelsea. He is the best. He now scores all the time and is calm on the field. Tamba E Bundor,Sierra Leone.

Essien deserves to win because he was inspirational for Ghana during the World Cup and has been outstanding for Chelsea this season, starting and playing all games. Jeffrey Agyemang, no country given

Essien should be the BBC African Footballer of the Year because he is a real star player. Ibrahim, Lagos.

Drogba because of his goalscoring skills. Kenema, Sierra Leone

Aboutrika. Why? Because he has been a decisive trump card for Egypt in the African Nations Cup finals over the Ivory Coast. No name

see also
Barakat receives BBC award
01 Feb 06 |  African
Okocha receives BBC award
10 Apr 05 |  African
Aboutrika leads Ahly's charge
26 Oct 06 |  African
Drogba gets Lampard backing
20 Oct 06 |  African
Essien vital to Blues - Desailly
05 Dec 06 |  Chelsea

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