Zambia’s Christopher Katongo is BBC African Footballer of the Year

The 30-year-old Zambia captain beat off competition from Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Younes Belhanda and Yaya Toure to become the first winner from southern Africa in the history of the award.

Katongo told BBC Sport: “This is a fantastic moment for me. I thank the people who voted for me. It is something I will never forget in my career.

“I did my best and the people have spoken – that’s the beauty of this award”

“This means a lot for the young people and the young players who look up to me. I could not have achieved this without the support of my team-mates.”

The shortlist for the award was drawn up by football experts from every country in Africa, who based their choices on players’ skill, technical ability, teamwork, consistency and fair play.

And a record number of people nominated their favourite online or by text message with just over 40% of the votes going to Katongo, who plays his club football in China for Henan Construction.

While all the players on the shortlist have enjoyed a superb year, with four of the players picking up silverware, it is Katongo whose performances and achievements have been considered by African football fans to be the greatest.

“I think the things that they (the fans) like about me is my discipline and that I am the kind of player who can fail one day but pull up his socks and keep going. I think that is why they voted for me,” added Katongo.

“To be among the top players who have won this award, I will go to sleep with a smile on my face.

“I did my best and the people have spoken. That’s the beauty of this award.”

Katongo, who is also a soldier in his home country, was inspirational as he led Zambia to their first Africa Cup of Nations title in February.

Post Author: Kingsley Iweka

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