African football legends Asamoah Gyan and Jay Jay Okocha have divulged that Cameroon striker, Vincent Aboubakar deserved to be awarded the Best Player at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) instead of Senegal’s Sadio Mane.
Vincent Aboubakar scored eight goals and provided an assist as Cameroon secured a third place finish. His eight goals ensured that he finished the tournament as the top scorer. In spite of the remarkable feat, he was overlooked for the best player award. An award which was won by Senegal’s Sadio Mane.
In a conversation after Sunday’s final, Asamoah Gyan and Jay Jay Okocha who worked as pundits with Super Sports throughout the AFCON revealed that Aboubakar should have won the best player award.
“For me Aboubakar is the best player of the tournament. He deserves to be named the best player of the tournament. After all he did, I think he earned it. But he was deservingly rewarded for the goals that he scored. But of course, it’s always good to have teammates that provide you with the services.
“You don’t have to take away the contributions of the other players as well. But it’s great to have a good finisher that will crown the whole hard work of the team,” Okocha said on Super Sports as quoted by Footballghana.
Asamoah Gyan added, “I think I agree with Jay Jay [Okocha]. For me, he is the player of the tournament.”
“We’re talking about consistency from the beginning of the tournament…he earned my respect in the game against Ethiopia. He lost the ball in his eighteen and had to sprint 75 metres to recover the ball. You could see he is playing with his heart.
“Not only about the goal. He was playing with his heart. In the third place game, they were three goals down and he had to come in to inspire the team to win the third place. For me, he had done everything to be the best player of the tournament, but I don’t know how they rate the best player of the tournament though.”
Vincent Aboubakar finished the tournament as the player with the most goal involvement (8 goals + an assist). He also finished the competition as the player with the best scoring frequency (74 minutes) and the player with the most shots per game (4.4).