Man City's Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure on his African Footballer of the Year award - Manchester City FC

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YAYA african player of the year
Season 2011/12

Cup hero Yaya is Africa's shining star

  • 30 December 2011 10:51
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Yaya Toure is aiming for a Premier League title medal to complete a unique hat-trick after being named African Footballer of the Year.

City's powerhouse midfielder, who scored the FA Cup Final winner against Stoke in May, is still coming to terms with his accolade from the Confederation of African Football.

Africa's national coaches chose Ivory Coast star Yaya ahead of Seydou Keita, the Mali and Barcelona midfielder, and Ghana's Andre Ayew, who plays for Olympique Marseille.

He said: "it is the highest prize I can get in my career. It was a special day for me. I am very happy and very proud - it's unbelievable, amazing, a big step in my career."

Yaya joins a pantheon of greats such as Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and former City player George Weah as he and brother Kolo prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

His award crowns a hugely successful season for 28-year-old Yaya, who also scored the FA Cup semi-final derby winner at Wembley. But another derby became his 2011 highlight.

He said: "To beat United 6-1 was amazing. I took the teamsheet home and recorded 6-1 on it. Sorry, I should say 1-6! It will always be there at my home.

 

Later I spoke to my friends in Paris on the phone and I told them we had beaten United 6-1

They said, 'What? On the PlayStation?' They said I was crazy, and that sums it up."

But he believes the 1-0 FA Cup Final win against Stoke will prove a more significant result and perhaps pave the way to a Barclays Premier League title triumph in May.

He said: "Every morning when I go into the dressing room, my team-mates look different. You can see they are more determined. That is what winning trophies can do for your club.

"That is why the FA Cup was so important. Winning it was great - but the big target now is the Premier League."

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