On this day, 4 January 2002 (Exactly 18 years ago today), former Ghanaian international and Bayern Munich defender, Samuel Kuffour was named BBC African Player of the Year.
He beat Sierra Leone’s Mohammed Kallon and Senegal’s El Hadj Diouf to the title.
Thousands of fans took part in the online poll, with Kuffour gaining 55% of the votes cast.
How they finished:
1 – Samuel Kuffour (Ghana)
2 – Mohammed Kallon (Sierra Leone)
3 – Al Hadj Diouf (Senegal)
The Ghanaian defender told the BBC he was delighted with the award.
“Today is the fourth, I am the fourth born in my family, and I always wear shirt number four!”, he said.
Kuffour was a key part of the Bayern Munich team that won the European Champions League in May 2001 and which landed the Bundesliga title. He also scored the only goal in the World Club Cup Final against Argentina’s Boca Juniors.
Kuffour was one of the few African defensive players to be recognised as top quality.
His consistency at Bayern made him one of Europe’s most sort-after central defenders.
On this day 4 January 2018 (Exactly 2 years ago today ) Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was named the 2017 Confederation of African Football Player of the Year.
For the first time, a public vote was used to help decide the winner , with Salah securing 97.65% of the vote.
The 25-year old had scored 17 Premier League goals at the time of the awards and helped Egypt reach the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations final in 2017.
He finished ahead of Liverpool team-mate and Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Earlier rounds of voting for the award were decided by a mixture of Caf officials, independent journalists, national team coaches and captains, with the criteria for choosing a winner from the final three also including a public vote element.
Mane and Salah attended the ceremony in Ghana’s capital Accra.
“Winning this award is a dream come true, 2017 was an unbelievable year for me,” Salah said after receiving the trophy.
“I would like to dedicate it to all the kids in Africa and Egypt, I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing.”
Salah, who was also voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year in December,2017 enjoyed a stellar year for both club and country.
In early 2017, the forward was the central figure for Egypt as they finished runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations.
He also had a hand in all seven of the goals that took the Pharaohs to their first World Cup since 1990 – assisting two and scoring five, including the stoppage-time penalty against Congo that saw them qualify them for Russia.
Salah’s form at club level was impressive as well.
In Italy, he scored 15 goals and made 11 others as he helped Roma finish second in Serie A, before joining Liverpool, where he had scored 23 goals in 29 games at the time of the award for Jurgen Klopp’s side last season.
STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH