kanoute king of africa

Fredi Kanoute has become the first European-born player to win the African Footballer of the Year award.

Fredi Kanoute has become the first European-born player to win the African Footballer of the Year award.

The Mali and Sevilla forward, 30, edged out Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba, last year's winner, and Ghana's Michael Essien for the 2007 award.

Kanoute, who was born in France, is the first winner from Mali since Salif Keita won the inaugural award in 1970.

The former Lyon, West Ham and Spurs player helped Mali qualify for this year's Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. The ex-France under-21 international also helped Sevilla to win last season's Uefa Cup and King's Cup.

"I dedicate this to my family, who could not be here, and to the people of Mali," Kanoute said. "I believe that sport can be used as a tool for development in Africa." - BBC

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