Togolese international Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor on Tuesday, was named the 2008 African Player of the Year by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) at the Glo CAF Awards in Lagos, Nigeria.
In a keen competition which was organised by CAF with Globacom Telecommunications Limited as the sole sponsor, Adebayor brushed aside Ghana and Chelsea star Micheal Essien and Mohamed Aboutreika of Egyptian giants Al Ahly to win the most prestigious award on the continent.
The Togolese who plies his trade with English Premier League (EPL) side Arsenals has for the past years been instrumental in the success of the West African country, which saw their historic appearance at the World Cup in 2006 in Germany.
Adebayor has also been a key figure with English side Arsenals banging in 24 goals in 36 matches at the close of the last soccer season and has served as a great source of inspiration to the Togolese National team, the Hawks.
The tall-lanky striker was also among the continents' finest eleven selected by CAF at the end of the 2008 soccer season.
Accompanied by his proud mother to receive the prestigious award from Sepp Blatter, President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and Issa Hayatou, President of CAF, the Togolese dedicated the award to his mother, whom he said contributed immensely to his present status.
"My mother has been behind me all these years and I'm very grateful to her for all that she has done in my life.
"Though my father is not alive, I'm sure he would be proud of me wherever he is at the moment". Adebayor stated.
Adebayor called on all Africans to come on board to help stage a successful World Cup on the continent, saying "this is the time to prove 'Our can do' spirit".
"We have to demonstrate to the world that we are capable of doing what ever we want to do". He noted.
Adebayor said with a united front Africa will come out as a proud continent after the 2010 World Cup.
Aboutrieka however, had a consolation award when he took home the Inter Club Player of the Year Award for his contributions to the continental success of Al Ahly.
The Egyptian playmaker was also named among the continent's finest eleven at the end of the 2008 soccer season.
Three Ghanaians, Essien, John Mensah and Sulley Muntari were also among the list of the continent's finest eleven named by CAF.
Alice Mattlou of South Africa won the African Woman Footballer of the Year, with Salomon Kalou of Cote D'Ivoire and Chelsea taking home the Young Player of the Year Award.
Hassan Shehata, head coach of the Egyptian National Team, the Pharaohs was voted Coach of the Year for supervising the team to win the 2008 African Cup of Nations held in Ghana.
The Pharaohs of Egypt also emerged the National Team of the year with Egyptian club side Al Ahly winning the Club of the Year Award.
Supporters of Al Ahly of Egypt won the Supporters Club of the Year Award, with the supporters of the Super Eagles of Nigeria picking up the National Supporters Club of the Year Award while Cote d'Ivoire took home the Fair Play Award.
Christian Chukwu, former Nigerian international was awarded African Legend of the Year Award.
A special award dubbed the "Most Prestigious Award" was conferred on Nigerian President, Mohamed Mousaa Omar Yar' Adua for his contributions to the development of sports in the country.
Three prominent football administrators; Farrar Addo of Somalia, Roger Ouegnin of Cote D'Ivoire and Etubom Oyo Oroko of Nigeria were given Order of the Merit Award by CAF.
(William Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent in Lagos, Nigeria, courtesy, Globacom Communications)