Abidjan, (CIV):- The 34th edition of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations climaxed on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, where Cote d’Ivoire triumphed in a captivating final against Nigeria.
Beyond the victory, the tournament showcased outstanding individual performances, honoured in the AFCON Awards ceremony that followed.
Super Eagles skipper and defender William Troost-Ekong bagged the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Most Valuable Player award in what appeared to be a bittersweet consolation after his side fell 2-1 to hosts Cote d’Ivoire in the final.
Ekong, who plies his trade at PAOK Thessaloniki currently, led Nigeria to their first final appearance since 2013, and despite scoring the opening goal, his side bowed down to goals from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller with just half an hour to lift the title.
The 30-year-old finished the tournament with three goals setting a record return for defenders in the past two decades.
On the other hand, Equatorial Guinea Captain, Emilio Nsue, clinched the AFCON 2023 Puma Golden Boot, thanks to his five goals in the group stage.
Nsue, 34, also scored the only hat-trick of the tournament in their 4-0 rout against the hosts and eventual winners Ivory Coast, becoming the oldest player to achieve the feat in AFCON history.
While the interim coach of the hosts, Emerse Fae emerged as the best coach award and his countrymate Simon Adingra scooped the Best Youn Player award.
South Africa’s Ronwen Williams secured the Best Goalkeeper award for his standout performance in the quarter-finals, saving four out of five penalties in the shootout against Cape Verde. His team also bagged the Fair Play award.
Below is the full list of winners
- Best Coach – Emerse Fae
- Player of The Tournament – William Troost-Ekong
- Best Goalkeeper – Ronwen Williams
- Golden Boot – Emilio Nsue
- Silva Boot – Gelson Dala
- Bronze Boot – Mostafa Mohamed
- Best Young Player – Simon Adingra
- Fair-Play Award: South Africa
The awards ceremony, graced by Togolese football legend Emmanuel Adebayor, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, not only celebrated the victors but also marked the symbolic transition as the CAF Flag was handed over to the Royal Moroccan Federation for the 2026 competition.
The ceremony also included the official handing over of the CAF Flag to the Royal Moroccan Federation to signify the handing over of the hosting reigns to the country for the competition set to take place in 2026.
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