CAMEROON’S Samuel Eto’o has become the first man to be named African Player of the Year for a fourth time.
The striker, 29, enjoyed little success with his country in 2010 but helped his club Inter Milan become European and Italian champions last season.
Eto’o also won the prestigious award in 2003, 2004 and 2005 while playing in Spain, latterly with Barcelona.
He finished ahead of Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Ghana and Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan.
The forward also scored one and created one in Inter’s 3-0 win over Congolese side TP Mazembe to seal the Club World Cup final on Saturday.
Eto’o’s fourth African crown takes him past other three-time winners Abedi Pele and George Weah.
“It is a pleasure to be a winner again, to take it for the fourth time against such top opposition,” he said after the ceremony in Cairo.
Eto’o was an integral part of Inter’s success last term, scoring 16 goals during a highly successful campaign under then-coach Jose Mourinho.
However, his exploits with the Indomitable Lions were limited as they were knocked out early in both the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup in South Africa.
Former Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac was named Coach of the Year, the Serbian seeing off competition from TP Mazembe’s Lamine N’Diaye and Egypt’s Hassan Shehata.
Ghana were also voted national team of the year ahead of Algeria and Egypt, while Udinese midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah was named Young Player of the Year ahead of Algeria’s Ryad Boudebouz and Niger striker Moussa Maazou.
Veteran Egypt midfielder and Captain Ahmed Hassan, 35, won the award for the best Africa-based player.