One of the best editions of the Africa Cup of Nations has just ended with some stars stepping up to the award stage after showcasing immense quality throughout the tournament.
Here are the top performers from the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
Player of the Tournament (Golden Ball Award)
Nigeria’s William Troost-Ekong grabbed the headlines as the man of the tournament, after showing his leadership and stellar defensive performance throughout this edition.
The 30-year-old scored three goals in the competition and also kept four clean sheets, being resolute at the heart of the Super Eagles’ defence with interceptions and key passes from the back.
Top scorer of the tournament (Golden Boot Award)
Equatorial Guinea skipper Emilio Nsue was the top scorer of this edition with five goals, despite exiting the competition in the last 16.
With five goals in only four matches, the 34-year-old was the only player to score a hat-trick in this competition and also scored a brace against Ivory Coast in the third round of group matches.
Emilio Nsue joins the list of great goal scorers in the history of this tournament such as Vincent Aboubakar, Didier Drogba and Samuel Etoo.
Angola’s Delson Dala and Egypt’s Mostafa Mohammed also shared the silver and bronze boots awards respectively with four goals apiece.
Young player of the tournament
Adjudged Man of the Match in the final, Ivory Coast’s Simon Adingra was also awarded the Young Player of the Tournament award.
The 22-year-old assisted twice in the final against Nigeria and also had a goal to his name in the quarter-final against Mali.
His electrifying pace and skill in the wide areas proved to be key for the hosts in this tournament and the best is yet to come from the youngster in the future.
Best Goalkeeper (Golden Glove Award)
South Africa’s Ronwen Williams was awarded the best goalkeeper of the tournament following his stellar performance in this edition, making the most penalty shootout saves and being crucial between the sticks for Bafana Bafana.
His heroics helped Bafana Bafana secure a third-place finish. Their best since 2000, and keeping five clean sheets is definitely a tremendous achievement on Africa’s biggest stage.
Fair Play Team Award (Air Cote d’Ivoire Fair Play Award)
South Africa did not just finish this tournament as the third-placed team. Bafana Bafana were also adjudged the Fair Play Team award for their sportsmanship and fair play throughout the competition against their opponents.
Hugo Broos’ side can be proud of this feat and look forward towards achieving more soon.
This competition was one of the best tournaments played around the world with quality and intensity alongside drama written all over it and the next edition is expected to be even better.