Ghana forward Andre Ayew celebrated his final days with Marseille by being named on Monday best African player in France’s Ligue 1.
Ayew, 25, finished ahead of Ivory Coast’s Max Gradel (Saint-Etienne) and Tunisia’s Aymen Abdennour (Monaco).
The winger – a member of the Ghana side that lost to Ivory Coast 9-8 on penalties in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final – was picked by a jury of journalists and received the Marc-Vivien Foe Trophy handed out by French radio station RFI and TV channel France 24.
“I am very honoured to have received such a prize,” said Ayew, whose father Marseille legend Abedi Pele was African footballer of the year three times.
“It’s not just anything for an African player in France. France has had a lot of good African players.
“I have often been close to winning it and this year was the good one. It just proves I have to work even harder… Only work pays.
“It’s been a good season. Maybe one of my best. I’ve improved a lot. I am happy but I can do better and work harder to improve even more.”
Ayew, who played in both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals, said that next Saturday’s match which will be his final one for Marseille after over a decade at the club would be very strange.
“Finishing third is important and the result against Bastia is important,” said Ayew referring to Marseille’s bid to take the final Champions League place on offer.
Ayew has attracted interest from several English clubs including relegation-threatened Newcastle, a regular raider of Ligue 1, Tottenham, Arsenal and the club he idolised as a boy – Liverpool.
His decision to leave is a mixture of Marseille not being able to meet his wage demands and a wish to seek a new challenge.
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