CAF Player of the year and Yaya’s sour grapes

Yaya Toure

Apparently Yaya Toure did not take too kindly to missing out of winning a fifth consecutive Glo-CAF Africa Player of the year award on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Ivorian midfielder lost out to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the voting. The Gabonese forward won with just seven votes [143-136] – so we could say the voting was hotly contested and close.

However, that is as close as it can get for Yaya, as 2015, was one of his poorest years as a professional footballer in Europe.

Lest we forget, Mikel Obi was the catalyst for the Super Eagles winning the 2013 Nations Cup for Nigeria but he lost out to Yaya, who won the 2013/14 EPL title with Manchester City.

Yaya and controversies

“I’m very, very disappointed. It’s sad to see Africa react this way, that they don’t think African achievements are important,” Yaya told RFI’s Felix Sohounde Peperipe, in an interview on Friday.

Seriously? There is a theme in this, we all can remember the ‘Cakegate’ with City in 2014, and all the insinuations about wanting a move from City to PSG.

So be advised that this is not the first time Yaya is courting controversy even though he qualifies this by saying, “As I’m someone who’s honest, I will always tell the truth”.

But if he introspects on the statement above, he would realise [if he can tell himself the truth] that he was not the best African player; in actual fact he was not the best Ivorian player in 2015!

It was a 39-game year for club and country and he scored 9 goals while the player of the year, Aubameyang, played 37 games for club and country and scored 30 goals. In addition to that, his insinuation that he won the Nations Cup – a 6-game competition — cannot be the major criteria for an individual award in a year that spanned 12 months.

It is actually a sad commentary on African football [which is already at a low nadir] that he poured such opprobrium on the award, that he had won for four consecutive years (controversially on two occasions).

Yaya’s disappointment is “pathetic”

Yaya continued: “I think this is what brings shame to Africa, because to act in that way is indecent. But what can we do about it? Us Africans, we don’t show that Africa is important in our eyes. We favour more what’s abroad than our own continent. That is pathetic.”

Really, what is pathetic is his reaction, which was unwarranted and unjustified, though he tried to leverage on Lionel Messi’s achievements.

“I’ll give an example. Messi won all the trophies, but it’s Cristiano Ronaldo who won the award [Ballon d’Or 2014]”, added Yaya.

What trophies did Messi win in 2014? The Copa Catalunya and the Spanish Super Cup? Were this more important than Ronaldo’s triumph in the Champions League and the record number of goals he scored to push Real Madrid to ‘La Decima’ [10th Uefa Champions League]?

He continued, “What would you say? It’s unfair! Even FIFA, with all its history of corruption, wouldn’t do [what CAF judges did]. “Yaya will take care of Yaya and let Africa take care of itself. As I’ve been told many times, you can’t take care of Africa too much because Africa will be the first to let you down.”

The only letdown in this matter is Yaya, who has shown himself as a sore loser and the voting that put him in second place even though he should not have made the first three on the shortlist. The Ivorian is still a fantastic footballer. But seriously, Yaya, you were not near the best in 2015!

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