Though I do not have apologies and will not tender any, this piece is not about taking anything away from the achievements or skill set of Yaya Toure, but I write with the cogent belief that the midfielder did not do enough in 2015 to be awarded the gong as the best footballer in Africa – I do not even believe that he was the best footballer out of Cote d’Ivoire in 2015!
Please be patient as I state my reasons as the bigwigs of African football gather in Abuja on Thursday to present the prestigious award for which Yaya has been voted the best footballer in Africa in 2011, 2012, 2013 and in 2014.
He plays for Manchester City
If you play for Manchester City and cannot succeed, then where else would you succeed? A squad brimming with world-class talents but despite these array of talents, the City squad were unable to win any trophy and even dismally failed to progress in Europe – that for me is a big turn off for Yaya, as he bids to become the first player to win five consecutive awards.
He plays for Cote d’Ivoire
The Elephants are one of the highest ranked teams on the continent and most admirers is that the big midfielder was the fulcrum for the Ivorian team that finally laid hands on the Nations Cup last January and I would agree with them but I would then ask – was he the best player in that team? Did he make the team better or mother luck played a huge part? My answer would be; CIV were not the best team but the collective caliber of the players in the team took them to the finish line, of which Yaya was a part but not the most important!
Other players were more productive
Yaya is up against Gabonese and Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ghana’s Andre Ayew, who transferred from Marseille last August to the Premiership to join the unheralded Swansea team. According to transfermarkt.com, the Manchester City team is worth a combined 517 million Euros with Yaya accounting for 22 million, compared to 305 million for Borussia Dortmund, from which Aubameyang is almost 10% of the whole squad cost and a meagre 127 million for Swansea of which Andre is just 13 million Euros.
In 2015, Yaya played 39 games for club and country and scored 9 goals while Aubameyang played 37 games for club and country and scored 30 goals and Ayew also scored his share of goals – 18 for club and country in 43 appearances.
Although the only thing known about the criteria for choosing these contenders [how Odion Ighalo did not make the list is a mystery] is that the coaches and captains of countries vote for their candidates; it could mean that the more popular and prominent English Premier League would have a huge advantage over the Bundesliga but here is hoping that Aubameyang or Ayew would be appreciated for doing a lot more with their more modest sides than Yaya. But that is just my thought!