CHELSEA'S latest aquisition Michael Essien fronts a host of six outstanding figures that have been selected to craft the 2004/2005 CAF Castle Lager sponsored 'African Dream Team'.
Essien, part of the Ghanaian team that dumped Uganda 2-0 last week, joins in alongside Tunisian Radhi Jaidi, Moroccan Nouridine Naybet, Senegalese Pape Bouba Diop, Benni McCarthy (South Africa) and Nigerian Vincent Enyeama.
The 22-year-old had previously been named Player of the Year in France by the Professional Footballer's Association at the end of the 2004/05 French league season.
The award that was inaugurated three years ago, recognises excellence in football by African players in their respective positions and goes a long way to raising the profile of African football and its top achievers across the entire African continent.
“Castle Lager are honoured to be associated with such a prestigious award and salute the football heroes that continue to inspire all on the African and international stage” said Richard Scott, marketing manager, of the Castle Lager brand.
The other inclusion is McCarthy, who struck gold by winning the European Champions League, the Portuguese League, the Portuguese FA Cup and the European Super Cup with Porto last year.
The Castle Lager Africa's Finest XI:
Keeper:Vincent Enyeama (Enyimba);
Defenders:Lauren Etame Meyer (Arsenal), Kolo Toure (Arsenal), Radhi Jaidi (Bolton), Nouridine Naybet (Tottenham);
Midfielders:Austin `Jay Jay' Okocha (Bolton), Pape Bouba Diop (Fulham), Michael Essien (Lyon), Stephen Appiah (Fernabache);
Strikers: Benni MCarthy (Porto), Samuel Eto'o Fils (Barcelona).