2015 King Fut African Awards
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With the year drawing to a close, we are thrilled to present the 2015 King Fut African Awards, recognizing the best performers of the past 12 months.
2015 saw many teams, players, and coaches shine on the ‘oldest’ continent in the world, and we at King Fut took it upon us to pick out the top performers in each category (player/club/manager) over the past calendar year. The King Fut team were all involved in the voting process for the 2015 King Fut African Awards. Without further ado, let’s get to the winners! [/tab][tab id=2]
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, King Fut’s African Player of the Year
Teams: Gabon (Borussia Dortmund – Germany)
Apps (including substitute appearances): 54
The Gabonese forward – once credited for pace only – is the leading goalscorer among the major European leagues in 2015/16. This season alone, he has netted 18 league goals in 17 matches. This tally is well ahead of those attained by the customary top-scorer candidates.
Aubameyang, a nominee for the CAF Player of the Year award, has also scored his fair share off goals in the other competitions he’s been involved in; he has four goals in the Europa League main stage, and two in the German Cup.
Despite his exploits for Dortmund, his talismanic role for the Gabonese national team must not be forgotten. He found the net twice in the Africa Cup of Nations, and added three more strikes in subsequent friendly matches.
His club coach, Thomas Tuchel, could be onto something, having stated that Aubameyang’s form “is not a phase.” After all, he’s built up on being Dortmund’s top-scorer last season. As we anticipate more, it’s only justice that we’ve voted him as our best African Footballer for 2015.
Emmanuel Amuneke, King Fut’s African Coach of the Year
Much was expected from Nigeria at the U-17 World Cup despite finishing fourth at the African U17 Championships. After all, they had Emmanuel Amuneke coaching the team. He was also part of the technical staff when they became world champions two years prior.
Amuneke exuded confidence regarding his team’s ability in the lengthy build-up to the competition, and rightly so, judging from the proceedings in Chile. Nigeria smashed all that was in their path on their way to glory. They netted five against the hosts, six against Australia and thrashed Brazil in the last eight.
This set up an all-African final that saw Nigeria overcome Mali. The youth football expert ended his glorious year by taking helm of Nigeria’s U20 team, and it’s safe to say he has his eye on South Korea 2017.
TP Mazembe, King Fut’s African Club of the Year
TP Mazembe pipped Zamalek to become the second-most successful African club side in the history of the CAF Champions League; after a four-year wait, the Lubumbashi side won an overdue fifth CAF Champions League title. With one more runner-up finish than the Whites, the Lubumbashi-based side are now behind Al Ahly in the all-time table.
While their triumph will not rank among the all-time greats, it was nonetheless pretty convincing. First, they got the better of Mamelodi Sundowns and Stade Malien in tricky qualifying round fixtures. Les Corbeaux then stuttered a little in the group stage but still finished first.
Their regained their form at the best possible time, however. Thanks to the exploits of Samatta, Kalaba and the Ghanaian contingent, they eased past Merrikh then USM Alger in the semis and final respectively to lift the trophy.
Here’s something for 2016: TP Mazembe’s four previous Champions League wins came in twos (1967-68, 2009-10).
Robert Malit contributed to this feature. You can follow him on Twitter here.
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