8 December 2012

Africa: CAF Awards 2012 - Profiles of Shortlists

Photo: BackPagePix
Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba (file photo).

African Player of the Year

Alexander Song

Date of Birth: 09 September 1987

Club: Barcelona (Spain)

Country: Cameroon

Cameroon born international was voted in second place as Arsenal player of the season by the fans. The defensive midfielder had a hand in vital goals scored by Arsenal in 2011-2012 season. Left for Barcelona in August 2012 after 204 appearances and 10 goals for Arsenal. He is a member of the Cameroon national team.

Didier Drogba

Date of Birth: 11 March 1978

Club: Shanghai Shenhua (China)

Country: Cote d'Ivoire

The Ivorian striker had an eventful 2011-2012 season with both club and country. He scored the equalizer and winning penalty to give Chelsea the European Champions League title and missed a penalty in 2012 AFCON final during regulation time. His goals took Ivory Coast into 2012 AFCON finals were they finished up second to Zambia. Scored the winning goal in FA cup final for Chelsea in what became his last season with the English club before he signed for Shanghai Shenhua in China.

Yaya Toure

Date of Bir th: 13 May 1983

Club: Manchester City (England)

Country: Cote d I'voire

The Ivorian midfielder and reigning African Footballer of the year had another stellar season in 2011-2012. His box to box runs have become trade-mark for club and country and made Yaya an important player. He scores 9 goals in 43 games for Manchester City and helped the club win the English Premiership title in 44 years. He was voted in the PFA Premier League team of the year 2011- 2012 season. With Ivory Coast Yaya was part of the team that blitzed its way to the 2012 AFCON finals before losing the final on penalties to Zambia. He scored in a 3-0 win over co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter finals.

African Player of the Year 2012 - Based in Africa

Mohamed Aboutreika

Date of Birth: November 7, 1978

Club: Al-Ahly (Egypt)

Country: Egypt

At 33, Aboutreika is still at his peak and has yet to lose his shine. Regarded a legend at Ahly, the influential midfielder has been the driving force behind the Egyptian giants continental campaign this term. His hat-trick against Stade Malien at the 1/8 th round sealed their passage into the mini-league stage. The veteran midfielder has scored six time in their campaign this season. He also featured for the Egyptian team in their abortive campaign during the qualifying rounds of the CAN 2013.

Rainford Kalaba

Date of Birth: August 14, 1986

Club: TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Country: Zambia

The petit midfielder was engine of the Zambian team that won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The fact his colleagues call him 'master' is not for nothing as he single-handedly carried the team on his tiny shoulders, and no wonder he was named in the All Star team of the tournament. Kalaba has maintained consistency as he remains the key pillar of his club TP Mazembe. The midfielder is currently in the form of his life as he is experiencing his best spell yet for club and country.

Stoppila Sunzu

Date of Birth: June 22, 1989

Club: TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Country: Zambia

One of more than five Zambian players with Congolese side TP Mazembe, Stopilla has been in great form this year. He was one of the Zambia's best players in their triumph at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea where he converted the final kick that landed his team the trophy. After the tourney, he has featured prominently in 2013 Orange CAN qualifiers and the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Stoppila has also been regular for his club, TP Mazembe.

National Team of the Year

(a) CAPE VERDE

The Islanders secured their first ever qualification to Africa Cup of Nations beating Madagascar convincingly before knocking out Cameroon 3-2 on aggregate to reach 2013 AFCON finals. Cape Verde achieved its highest ever CAF and FIFA rankings of 10 and 51 respectively in October 2012.

(c) COTE D' IVOIRE

The Elephants reached the final of the 2012 AFCON winning 5 matches scoring 9 goals and conceding none. The Ivorians remain the top ranked on the continent the highest ranked African team on FIFA ranking. The 2012 AFCON runners-up stormed their way 2013 AFCON finals with impressive home and away win over a strong Senegalese side.

(d) ZAMBIA

The Southern African are the reigning African Champions after beating Cote d' Ivoire in the final at 2012 Gabon and Equatorial Guinea tournament. Zambia's passage to the final included wins over Ghana and Senegal who were ranked favourites for the title alongside the Ivorians. After reaching the final twice before ( 1974 and 1994) and finishing second Zambia completed the emotional drama by winning their maiden African title in Gabon where in 1993 an entire Zambia football team perished in a plane crash. After their continental victory Chipolopolo overcame Uganda reach 2013 AFCON finals in South African were they will try and defend their title.

Women's National Team of the Year

(a) EQUATORIAL GUINEA

The women's national team hosted and won the 8th African Women's Championship beating South African in the final. That 2013 title AWC win in November was Equatorial Guinea's second making them the only team to wrestle the crown from Nigeria who have won it on 6 of the eight times it has been held.

(b) GHANA U-17

The Black Maidens qualified for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup were they put up an impressive run reaching the semi-finals. The Ghanaians knocked out one of the tournament favourites Japan in the quarters before losing to France in the next match. The Black Maidens bounced back in the third and fourth match to beat Germany 1-0 and clinch a bronze medal from the tournament held in Azerbaijan

(C) NIGERIA U-20

The Nigeria side finished fourth at FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Japan 2012. The West African ladies topped their group after wins over Korea and Italy and a credible draw with Brazil. The Falconets went on to beat Mexico in the quarter's finals before losing in the semis to the eventual tournament winners USA. Nigeria played in the bronze medal match in which they lost narrowly (2-1) to hosts Japan.

Club of the Year

(a) Al - Ahly (Egypt)

The Cairo based club won their 7th CAF Champions League title after beating holders Esperance of Tunisia 3-2 on aggregate. The Egyptian side weathered a turbulent year that saw domestic league football suspended in the country. Against all odds the Egyptians giants ended a difficult year 2012 by winning the continent's top interclub trophy.

(b) Espérance (Tunisia)

The 2011 African Champions League winners equaled the record of the longest unbeaten run in CAF Champions League and reached the final of this year's competition. The Tunis club side could not join the club of teams that have won back to back champions league titles after finishing as runners up to Al Ahly of Egypt.

(c) AC Léopards (Congo)

The Congo- Brazzaville club side orchestrated a fairytale that ended up with the 2012 CAF Confederation Cup victory. The Dolisie based side brought Congo Brazzaville's first African club crown in 38 years after beating Djoliba of Mali by a 4-3 aggregate score. Leopards knocked out some of the tops African sides including holders MAS Fes of Morocco, Club Sportif Sfaxien from Tunisia, Heartland from Nigeria, Stade Malien from Mali and Sudanese side Al Merreikh on the way to lifting the Confederation Cup

Coach of the Year

(a) Hervé Renard (Zambia)

Born: 30 Sept 1968

Age: 44

The enigmatic Frenchman return for a second spell with Zambia just before the 2012 AFCON finals and quickly drilled the team into a competitive side that went on to win their maiden African title. Zambia beat both co-favourites Cote d' Ivoire and Ghana as well as Senegal another side fancied to make a presence at the finals. The Frenchman is credited with turning Chipolopolo into one of the continent's top sides. He will lead Zambia to 2013 AFCON to defend their title and his charges are currently sitting top of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

(b) Hossam El Bady (Al - Ahly, Egypt)

Born: 18 March 1960

Age: 52

The former Al Ahly player stepped into the shoes of the hugely successful Manuel Jose during the season when the latter stepped down. Facing a daunting task during difficulty times, El Badry steered Al Ahly into the CAF Champions League final. Despite being held at home to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the final El Badry overran Esperance in their backyard winning 2-1 to lift a record 7th CAF Champions league title.

(d) Joseph Morius OMOG (AC Léopards, Cameroon)

31 December 1950

Age: 62

The Cameroonian brought joy and delight to Congo Brazzaville after leading AC Leopards to their maiden interclub continental title. Leopards beat Mali's Djoliba FC 4-3 to win the CAF Confederation Cup. Under the guidance of the former player of dragon Yaounde Leopards knocked out some of the tops African sides including holders MAS Fes of Morocco, Club Sportif Sfaxien from Tunisia, Heartland from Nigeria, Stade Malien from Mali and Sudanese side Al Merreikh on the way to lifting the Confederation Cup

Most Promising Talent

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Born: 15 June 1992

Age: 20

Salah was part of the Egyptian U-23 team that played at London 2012 Olympic football tournament where he scored in three of their four matches. Swiss club FC Basel signed him up in June 2012. Salah also played for Egypt senior team and scored in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Guinea and in 2013 AFCON qualifier against Central African Republic.

(b) Moussa Konate (Senegal)

Born: 3rd April 1993

Age: 19

The Senegalese young striker scored in each of the four games Senegal played at London 2012 Olympic football finals. His prolific strike include a brace in a 2-0 win over Uruguay and by the time Senegal bowed out in the quarter finals he had scored five of their total of six goals in the competition. He had an impressive season with Maccabi Tel Aviv scoring 8 times in 42 appearances before he was snatched up for 2012-2013 season by Russian club FC Krasnodar. Konate also played and scored for Senegal senior team in 2012.

(c) Victor Wanyama (Kenya)

Born: 25 June 1991

Age: 21

The Kenyan defensive midfielder has played an influential role at his Scottish Premier League club, Celtic. He has weighed in with vital goals for his club and has scored six in the current season. The pick of these goals being the opening header in Celtic's historic 2-1 win over Spanish giants Barcelona in UEFA Champions League. He is part of Kenya senior national team.

Women's Footballer of the Year

(a) Chinwendu Ihezuo (NGA)

Born: 30 April 1997

Age: 15

The Nigerian forward scored 6 goals during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2012 including a 5 goal haul against hosts Azerbaijan. Ihezuo played a part in eight of the eleven goals Nigeria scored in that match. Her six goals helped make Nigeria the third-highest scoring team in the competition. Ihezuo's remarkable speed, power and a nose for goal won her adidas Silver Boot for finish second on the top goals scorer's list.

(b) Genoveva Anoman (E. Guinea)

Born: 19 April 1989

Age: 23

The Equatorial Guinea playmaker crowned a superb season by winning the 2012 African Women's Championship on home soil after clinching the Frauen Bundesliga championship (German Women's premier league). Anonman is one of only two international players on Turbine Potsdam's books and the prolific midfielder/striker finished top goal scorer in the Frauen Bundesliga with 22 goals. She brought her rich scoring form to AWC and also top scored in the tournament with 6 goals as Equatorial Guinea won their second African title.

(c) Portia Modise, (RSA)

Born: 20 June 1983

Age: 29

Modise became the most capped South African female footballer after making her 100th appearance for Banyana Banyana in a match against Senegal during 2012 CAF 8TH African Women's Championship played in Equatorial Guinea. She added two more caps when Banyana Banyana reached the final where she picked up a runners-up medal. Modise has scored 73 goals for her national team including a stunning hit from inside the center circle during the 2012 London Olympic football tournament in game against Sweden. The goal was acclaimed by the entire stadium, including the Swedish supporters.

Referee of the Year

(a) Djamal Alhaimoudi

(B) Diatta Badara

(c) Jedidi Slim

Legend Award

(a) Mahmoud El-Gohar

(b) Rigobert Song

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InFocus

CAF Announces Africa's Top Three

Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba (file photo).

Cameroonian international Alexandre Song joins Ivorians Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure in the fight for the African Player of The Year award. Read more »