Manchester City's Yaya Toure is named African Footballer of the Year
It is the third time in a row the Ivory Coast midfielder has landed the title
Toure beat Chelsea's John Obi Mikel and Galatasaray's Didier Drogba to crown
Real Madrid beat Osasuna 2-0 in first leg of their Spanish Cup fifth round
Yaya Toure’s African reign will stretch into a third year after the Manchester City midfielder was named the continent’s best footballer once again.
The Ivory Coast star was crowned Footballer of the Year by the Confederation of African Football at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday.
Toure pipped compatriot Didier Drogba, who plays for Turkish outfit Galatasaray, and Chelsea’s Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel to the crown.
The 30-year-old becomes only the second player to win three successive titles, emulating Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o, who now plays for Chelsea.
Voted for by African national team coaches and technical directors, Toure needs only one more title to join Eto’o in an elite band of players who have won it for times.
Toure, formerly of Spanish giants Barcelona, joined Manchester City in 2010, driving them to the Premier League title in the 2011-12 season.
A linchpin of their midfield, the Ivorian has 13 goals to his name already this season as City jostle for another English title, and he was included in the Premier League’s Team of 2013.
He also helped his country qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, featuring in both legs of the playoff victory over Senegal.
In Spain, Real Madrid saw off Osasuna 2-0 in the first leg of their fifth round Spanish Cup tie.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale on show, Real took the lead in the first half thanks to a free kick from France striker Karim Benzema.
Ronaldo, who is widely expected to be crowned world footballer of the year at FIFA’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on Monday, then laid on the second goal for Jese on the hour mark.