Ivorian striker Didier Drogba has been crowned African Footballer of the Year for the second time in his career.
Drogba, previously decorated in 2006, brushed aside stiff opposition from Cameroonian forward Samuel EtoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢o Fils and Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien to claim the coveted prize.
The Chelsea hit-man was named the Glo-CAF Player of the Year 2009 at the Awards Gala held on Thursday, March 11, at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra, Ghana.
It served a grand birthday present for Drogba whose 32nd birthday coincided with the ceremony that seeks to reward the finest footballers, officials and administrators for their contribution to the development of the game.
An official of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) received the award from the Vice President of Ghana, John Mahama who was assisted by CAF President Issa Hayatou, amidst cheers from the packed hall.
The Ivorian forward will also receive 20,000 US Dollars for being named the foremost footballer on the continent for the second time in his illustrious career. The winner was decided by votes from the coaches of the National Associations affiliated to CAF.
The coronation of Drogba was the climax of the ceremony that saw two members of the gold-winning Ghana U-20 team; Dominic Adiyiah and coach Sellas Tetteh picking up the Young Player of the Year and Coach of the Year respectively.
Three-time Africa club champions, T.P. Mazembe of DR Congo were named the Club of the Year, and captain Tresor Mputu Mabi as the winner in the Best Player on the Continent category.
The South African Supporters Club, famous for the blowing of the Ã¢â‚¬ËœVuvuzelaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ were decorated as the Best Supporters Club whilst AlgeriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s superb form during the year earned the National Team of the Year award.
The fans of Sudanese giants Al-Hilal went home with Fair Play prize whilst Ex-footballers, Stephen Keshi of Nigeria, Senegalese Jules Bocande and Oswaldo Saturnino de Oliviera Ã¢â‚¬Å“JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â of Angola were each presented with the African Football Legend award.
Ghana President, John Evans Atta Mills was also presented with the Platinum Award.
Glo-CAF Player of the Year
Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Cote dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ivoire)
Inter-Club Player of the Year
Mputu Mabi (T.P. Mazembe and DR Congo)
National Team of the Year
Club of the Year
T.P. Mazembe (DR Congo)
Young Player of the Year
Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan and Ghana U-20)
Coach of the Year
Sellas Tetteh (Ghana U-20)
Fair Play Award
Al Hilal fans
Best Supporters Club
South Africa Supporters Club
African Football Legend
Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)
Jules Bocande (Senegal)
Osvaldo Saturnino de Oliviera Ã¢â‚¬Å“JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â (Angola)
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana
CAF Best XI
Goalkeeper Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Muteba Kidiaba (T.P Mazembe and DR Congo)
Defenders Ã¢â‚¬â€œ John Pantsil (Fulham and Ghana), Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth and Algeria), Wael Gomaa (Al-Ahly and Egypt)
Midfielders Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Alexander Song (Arsenal and Cameroon), Michael Essien (Chelsea and Ghana), Seydou Keita (Barcelona and Mali), Yaya Toure (Barcelona and Cote dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ivoire)
Attackers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Tresor Mputu Mabi (T.P. Mazembe and DR Congo), Samuel EtoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢o (Inter Milan and Cameroon), Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Cote dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ivoire)