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Chelsea's Didier Drogba wins African football award

Didier Drogba in action for Ivory Coast
Drogba is the skipper of Ivory Coast and a key player for them

Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been named African Footballer of the Year.

Drogba scored five goals as Ivory Coast qualified for the 2010 World Cup and scored for Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Chelsea team-mate and Michael Essien and Cameroon forward Samuel Eto'o were also shortlisted for the award.

Drogba, who turned 32 on Thursday, had previously won the award in 2006, while Algeria were named team of the year at the ceremony in Accra, Ghana.

Algeria qualified for the World Cup finals in South Africa after defeating Egypt in a play-off game.

Drogba has scored 25 goals so far this season for Chelsea, who are in contention for the Premier League title and remain in the Champions League and FA Cup.

And the Ivorian claimed as he celebrated his 32nd birthday that his appetite for the game is as strong as ever.

606: DEBATE

"I still have the same passion for the game," said Drogba. "I still feel hungry and I am still chasing medals.

"I feel really good. As I have said in the past it depends on the injuries you get and this season I can say that I am lucky, or I can say that the few months that I took out last year to get my knee well are now paying off.

"Your lifestyle is only as important as your mental approach to the game. If you put in your head that you are 32 and you are old it is going to be difficult.

"I still feel like a kid when I am on the pitch so sometimes Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has to pull me back."

None of the three shortlisted candidates for the individual award were at the Confederation of African Football (Caf) ceremony.

The last time that Drogba won the award, Essien and Eto'o were also the other two shortlisted players.

Ghana were the other big winners on the night with striker Dominic Adiyiah picking up the Young Player of the Year award ahead of South African Kermit Erasmus of Feyenoord and Nigeria's Sani Emmanuel from Bodens BK.

Sellas Tetteh was named Coach of the Year having led the Black Stars' Under-20 side to World Cup glory last year.

There was also success for the Democratic Republic of Congo, who scooped the Africa Club of the Year and Best Player on the Continent awards in the form of Champions League winners TP Mazembe and their captain Tresor Mputu Mabi.

England's World Cup opponents Algeria were rewarded for qualifying for the finals for the first time in 24 years and reaching the African Nations Cup last four by being named National Team of the Year.



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see also
Drogba wins African player award
01 Mar 07 |  African
Drogba ends feud with Caf
20 Feb 10 |  African
Chelsea 2-1 Everton
30 May 09 |  FA Cup


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