Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended the reign of Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure, becoming the first Bundesliga and Gabonese player to become Africa’s Footballer of the Year.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang collected his first Africa Footballer of the Year award on Thursday, denying Yaya Toure his fifth consecutive crown.
The Borussia Dortmund forward becomes the first Bundesliga player ever to win the award. He is also the first Gabonese player to be given the honor.
“I thank the people of Gabon, this award is for them,” Aubameyang said in his acceptance speech. “I want to thank my team mates in the national team and also at Dortmund. It is their work that helps me to score goals. For the parents of the youth of Africa, please give your kids a chance to realize their dreams.”
Aubameyang ended up with 143 points, Manchester City’s Toure coming in second on136, and Swansea and Ghana striker Andre Ayew finishing third with 112 points. Aubameyang also got the most first place votes, 17 of the 43 head coaches in the confederation giving the 26-year-old goal machine their highest marks. All three were also part of Africa’s Finest XI, and the Ivory Coast was still Africa’s Team of the Year.
A year worth honoring
Aubameyang scored 41 goals and 11 assists for club and country in the 2015 calendar year. His 18 goals for Dortmund currently lead the Bundesliga, three ahead of his former BVB teammate Robert Lewandowski. His total is only one behind last years total of Alexander Meier, who won the Bundesliga’s “goal cannon” as the league’s top scorer.
Playing in his third season at the Westfalenstadion, Aubameyang has thrived under new head coach Thomas Tuchel. The new Dortmund coach has made him the focal point of Dortmund’s attack, putting players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shinji Kagawa around him to make sure he receives the ball. His shot conversion rate his higher than any other player in Germany, which is causing big clubs in England and Spain to inquire about his availability in the summer.
His finishing up top has launched Dortmund up to second place, turning them into the highest scoring team in the Bundesliga at the halfway point of the season. He has also scored eight goals in seven Europa League appearances as well, assisting BVB qualification for the knockout rounds in February.
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