FC Internazionale Milano and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has been named African Footballer of the Year for a record fourth time during a ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday.
The 29-year-old, who previously won the award three years in a row from 2003, edged out Ghana's Asamoah Gyan and Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast in the poll among coaches of all African national teams. The award came two days after Eto'o helped Inter to win the FIFA Club World Cup, scoring the second goal in the 3-0 victory over TP Mazembe in the final.
Eto'o joined Inter in 2009 from FC Barcelona after winning the UEFA Champions League twice with the Spanish club and scoring in both final victories. He then helped the Nerazzurri claim the most prestigious club competition in Europe after a 45-year wait during his first season in Milan, which also saw his side take the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup.
"It's nice to be ahead of everybody for the fourth time," said Eto'o, who is also the current leading scorer in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League campaign having registered seven times in six group stage games. "Africa have many great players now and many others who are improving very quickly, so this could be the last time for me.
"It's a great honour to be the first player to win this award four times but I still have to work hard if I want to become the best African footballer of all time. I think Drogba deserved this award as much as me this year. When I was a kid I was dreaming to win awards like this, now I'm dreaming to see an African side winning the World Cup and I hope it will become reality soon."
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