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Samuel Eto'o wins record fourth African Player award

Samuel Eto'o in action for Inter Milan.
Eto'o hit the heights with Inter in 2010

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o has become the first man to be named African Player of the Year for a fourth time.

The striker, 29, enjoyed little success with his country in 2010 but helped his club Inter Milan become European and Italian champions last season.

Eto'o also won the prestigious award in 2003, 2004 and 2005 while playing in Spain, latterly with Barcelona.

He finished ahead of Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Ghana and Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan.

The forward also scored one and created one in Inter's 3-0 win over Congolese side TP Mazembe to seal the Club World Cup final on Saturday.

Eto'o's fourth African crown takes him past other three-time winners Abedi Pele and George Weah.

"It is a pleasure to be a winner again, to take it for the fourth time against such top opposition," he said after the ceremony in Cairo.

"Africa now has so many good players and there is lots of talent coming up, so this might be a last chance for me."

Eto'o was an integral part of Inter's success last term, scoring 16 goals during a highly successful campaign under then-coach Jose Mourinho.

However, his exploits with the Indomitable Lions were limited as they were knocked out early in both the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup in South Africa.

In some quarters, that made him second favourite to Gyan, whose goals helped take Ghana to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they were eventually beaten on penalties by Uruguay.

He also helped Ghana reach the final of the African Nations Cup, where they lost out to Egypt.

Last week, Gyan was crowned BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2010.

The winner of Monday's award was decided by votes from national coaches of the continent's 53 countries affiliated to the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Former Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac was named Coach of the Year, the Serbian seeing off competition from TP Mazembe's Lamine N'Diaye and Egypt's Hassan Shehata.

Ghana were also voted National Team of the Year ahead of Algeria and Egypt, while Udinese midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah was named Young Player of the Year ahead of Algeria's Ryad Boudebouz and Niger striker Moussa Maazou.

Veteran Egypt midfielder and captain Ahmed Hassan, 35, won the award for the best Africa-based player.

Just days after losing the Fifa Club World Cup final to Italy's European champions Inter Milan, DR Congo's TP Mazembe - who successfully defended their Champions League title this year - were named Club of the Year for the second year running.

Elsewhere, Nigeria's Perpetua Nkwoche was crowned the Women's Footballer of the Year while her Super Falcons side pipped Nigeria's U20 side, who reached the World Cup final, for the Women's Team award.

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see also
Eto'o rejects Africa's best talk
21 Dec 10 |  African
TP Mazembe 0-3 Inter Milan
18 Dec 10 |  Football
Ghana's Gyan crowned BBC winner
17 Dec 10 |  African
Cagliari fined over racist abuse
19 Oct 10 |  Europe
Match halted over Eto'o abuse
18 Oct 10 |  African
Drogba scoops top African award
11 Mar 10 |  African

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