Yaya Toure Beats Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel to African Footballer of the Year

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2014

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns on December 4, 2013 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Yaya Toure has landed top honours in Africa after being crowned African Footballer of the Year, as reported by John Drayton in The Daily Mail.

This marks a hat-trick of gongs for Toure, winning the award for a third consecutive year—a feat only matched by Abedi Pele from 1991 to 1993 and Samuel Eto'o between 2003 and 2005.

Predictably, the Manchester City man has been lauded on Twitter with many media folk championing his triumph:

Toure beat out competition from John Obi Mikel and Didier Drogba to scoop the prize in Lagos on Thursday night.

A poll of African coaches and technical directors decide the recipient, and as many echoed afterwardsincluding Bleacher Report's Jerrad PetersToure was the clear and deserved choice.

Drayton notes how the midfielder was also named BBC's African Footballer of the Year in December and was the only African represented on the 2013 Ballon d'Or's 23-man shortlist, marking his form this year.

His 2012/13 campaign may have ended trophy-less but he's started this season in imperious form, pivotal to his club's surge up the table.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates scoring their third goal with David Silva of Manchester City during the Capital One Cup Semi-Final first leg match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on
Clive Mason/Getty Images

His City side are the only English team still in all four major competitions, and Toure has already contributed 10 goals and three assists in the Premier League, a return just two players can better.

He's also made 1,427 passes already, 403 more than any other team-mate which further emphasises his importance, as noted by WhoScored.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City is closed down by Mathieu Flamini and Bacary Sagna of Arsenal  during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Manches
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The midfielder is so often his side's heartbeat, responsible for numerous attacking bursts while bullying opposing sides when they enter City's defensive third.

He missed just six Premier League games last season, three of which City were unable to win without their midfield enforcer.

This award moves Toure ahead of a number of two-time winners, taking him level with George Weah on three. Eto'o and Pele are the only two more decorated Africans, each claiming the award four times.

With Ivory Coast finally finding a favourable World Cup group and City still in the running for a quadruple, Toure already seems the hot favourite for the 2014 award.