Drogba named African Footballer of the Year
March 3, 2007 1:28am CST
Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was named 2006 African Footballer of the Year on Thursday, edging out Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon to deny the Barcelona marksman a record fourth successive award. Drogba, 28, took the honour for the first time after captaining his country to the African Nations cup final where they were beaten on penalties by hosts Egypt. Ivory Coast also reached the Finals of the World cup for the first time last year while drogba won the English Premiership with his club side. Chelsea team-mate Michael Essien finished third for the second consecutive year in the poll of Africa's 53 national team coaches. Last year, Eto'o pipped Drogba by two votes in the closest race in the award 36 year history. Drogba turned the tables on Eto'o this time, securing 79 votes against his rival's 74. Drogba is only the third English-based footballer to win the award after Nwankwo Kanu, then of Arsenal,in the 1999 and Senegal's El Hadji Diouf, who was with Liverpool when he took the title in 2002.