On Thursday, the winner of the 2015 CAF Africa Player of the Year will be announced in Abuja.
Ahead of the award, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at seven interesting facts about the award since it began in 1970……
AMUNEKE THE LAST PLAYER TO WIN THE AWARD WHILE PLAYING IN AFRICA
Former Super Eagles winger Emmanuel Amuneke could be described as one of the best ever players to emerge from Nigeria after being crowned Africa Player of the Year in 1994.
Amuneke is among an exclusive list of Nigerian players which include the late Rashidi Yekini, Nwankwo Kanu and Victor Ikpeba, to have ever won the most prestigious individual football award on the continent.
But one thing that stands Amuneke out is the fact that he is the last player to win the award while playing in Africa. He achieved the feat when he was with Egyptian giant Zamalek. From 1995 down to 2014, all the winners have been players playing in Europe.
1994 Emmauel Amuneke (Zamalek/Egypt)
1995 – George Weah (PSG/AC Milan)
1996 – Nwankwo Kanu (Ajax/Inter Milan)
1997 – Victor Ikpeba (AS Monaco)
1998 – Mustapha Hadji (Deportivo La Coruña)
1999 – Nwankwo Kanu (Arsenal)
2000 – Patrick Mboma (Parma/Cagliari)
2001 – El Hadji Diouf (RC Lens)
2002 – El Hadji Diouf (RC Lens/Liverpool)
2003 – Samuel Eto'o (Marlloca)
2004 – Samuel Eto'o (Marlloca/Barcelona)
2005 – Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona)
2006 – Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
2007 – Frédéric Kanouté (Sevilla)
2008 – Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)
2009 – Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
2010 – Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan)
2011 – Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
2012 – Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
2013 – Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
2014 – Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
CAMEROON TOPS WITH MOST WINS OF STAR PRIZE
Cameroon is the most successful country in producing the CAF Africa Player of the Year award winners. The four-times Africa Cup of Nations winners have produced six players who have won the award 11 times between them.
Roger Milla (1976,1990)
Thomas Nkono (1979,1982)
Jean-Manga Onguene (1980)
Theophile Abega (1984)
Patrick Mboma (2000)
Samuel Eto'o (2003, 2004, 2005, 2010)
EGYPT HAS PRODUCED ONLY ONE WINNER DESPITE WINNING AFCON SEVEN TIMES
Egypt's Pharaohs are the most decorated team in the history of the African Cup of Nations. The North-African side have been crowned champions of the continent a record seven times.
But despite these achievements, only one player from Egypt, Mahmoud Al-Khatib, has managed to win the African Player of the Year award which was in 1983.
WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES DOMINATE THE AWARD
In the history of the CAF Africa Player of the year award, West African countries have been the most successful amongst the regions.
Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire are the countries from the west who have produced winners of the award.
The next best region is North Africa, which has four countries: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
FIVE COUNTRIES HAVE PRODUCED WINNERS BUT HAVE NEVER WON AFCON
Five countries have produced winners of the CAF award, but they've never won the Africa Cup of Nations.
These countries are Guinea (Cherif Souleymane, 1972); Togo (Emmanuel Adebayor, 2008); Liberia (George Weah, 1989, 1995); Senegal (El Hadji Diouf, 2001, 2002); and Mali (Salif Keita, 1970 and Frederic Kanoute, 2007).
MOROCCO HAS PRODUCED MOST WINNERS FROM NORTH AFRICA
The Atlas Lions of Morocco, winners of the 1976 Africa Cup of Nation, are the most successful North African country in relation to the CAF Africa Player of the Award with four wins.
The country's first ever winner was Ahmed Faras in 1975. Mohamed Timoumi won the award in 1985 and was followed by Badou Zaki in 1986. And in 1998, Mustapha Hadji was named Africa's best.
YAYA TOURE RECORD FOUR STRAIGHT AWARD
Cote d'Ivoire and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is the reigning Africa Player of the year. Toure has won the award four times, same as Samuel Eto'o.
But one remarkable thing is that Toure's 2014 award made it his fourth in a row, becoming the first and only player to ever achieve the feat.
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