Ghana and Sunderland striker, Asamoah Gyan, has been voted by football fans across the world as BBC African Footballer of the Year 2010.
The results were announced live on BBC World Service’s flagship sports programme for Africa, Fast Track on December 17, 2010.
The search for BBC African Footballer of the Year 2010 began on November 15, 2010 when fans were given a chance to choose their African football hero from a shortlist selected by experts from across the continent. The shortlist also included Gyan’s Ghana national team-mate, Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew (Marseille), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon and Inter Milan), and Ivorians Yaya Toure (Manchester City) and Didier Drogba (Chelsea).
Votes were cast online or via text messages. When public voting closed
on December 10, 2010, Gyan emerged the overwhelming choice of the fans, securing more than half of the total number of votes.
On discovering he had won the award, Gyan said: “I’m so happy, l can’t believe it. I’m so thankful to all the fans who voted for me. It
really was hard to win this award especially because of all the other players I was up against. So I’m so appreciative to all my fans in Africa, especially my family and fans in Ghana.”
The host of Fast Track, Farayi Mungazi said: “Asamoah has had a truly special year, and fans across Africa have realised that. He’s not a flashy player and certainly doesn’t ‘shout from the rooftops’. This is a player who prefers to do his talking on the pitch, and that makes him a worthy winner. He was, of course, involved in one of the most dramatic moments of the World Cup: that heart-stopping penalty miss in Ghana’s quarter-final against Uruguay will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it.”
Sunderland football club’s manager, Steve Bruce, said “Asamoah has been a fantastic addition to the Sunderland squad. As our record signing, he had a lot of expectation placed on his shoulders but he has embraced the club wholeheartedly and has settled in very well. He’s a strong, quick player and brings something different to the side. He can create a chance out of nothing. He has formed positive partnerships with other strikers and he’s a real bright spark around the place too – always smiling and happy. He has an infectious joy for football, and we are reaping the rewards of that. I’m thrilled for Asamoah that he has been awarded this honour, it is thoroughly deserved.”
Drogba was in 2009 awarded the title. Previous winners have included Mohamed Aboutrika, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien, Jay-Jay Okocha, Samuel Kuffour, Nwankwo Kanu and George Weah.