We shouldn’t be surprised, 2011 belongs to the Ivory Coast powerhouse. In the last 12 months Yaya’s won his first trophy in England, was instrumental in his country’s qualification for the Africa's Continental Cup and now he’s bagged the highest individual honour awarded by Confederation of African Football.
The player of the year is usually a strikers’ award with last year’s winner and fellow PUMA star Samuel Eto’o being crowned the best in Africa four times. But this year the man in the engine room got the nod. And nobody would begrudge him his dues. Tourés combination of silk and steel has made him one of the most feared and respected players in the world. Something not lost on the African national team coaches who voted Yaya the first midfielder in 12 years to be crowned Africa’s premier player.
Despite winning 10 major trophies in a career that has included some of the biggest clubs in Europe, last night’s award ranks top. The big man described taking the crown as, ‘the first step in my big career’ and ‘the highest prize I can get’. For a man who has achieved as much as Yaya it shows just how much it means to him.
With his team flying high in England and the Ivory Coast one of the favourites for next month’s Continental Cup in Africa we expect Yaya to have his hands full of silverware come the end of the season.
But no matter what team and individual awards Touré will inevitably pick up over his career this one will always be special.