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Edited by Oludare Fase
Frederic Kanoute Mali/Seville
The 2007 African Footballer of the Year
By Sunday Oludare
Published: February 4, 2008
When CAF announced Frederic Kanoute as the MTN 2007 African Footballer of the year at a
ceremony in Togolese capital of Lome beating the holder Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire and
Michael Essien of Ghana and Chelsea to second and third place, many football fans who spoke
to me said that the confederation got it right this time around.
They argued that Frederic Kanoute deserved to be crowned with this prestigious title of
African footballer of the year following his performance in 2007 in Europe and Africa.
Kanounte has been around for a while and he plays for a Spanish club side Seville one of the
top clubs in Europe.
Kanoute got commendation for opting to play Mali rather than France where he was born. That
decision has helped the Malian team a great deal because he is sen as the motivating force in
In 2007, Mali needed to win their final match against Togo in Lome to qualify for the nations
cup Ghana 2008, Kanoute scored the opening goal in a game they won by two goals to
nothing to deny the Red Devils a place in Ghana 2008.
Kanoute’ s club side won the Spanish Super Cup in August 2007 and the UEFA Cup twice in a
row - and he scored in both finals.
In the Spanish Super Cup Kanoute slammed home a hat-trick at the Bernebeu, against all
powerful Real Madrid as his side scored five times to win on a 6-3 aggregate. Though injured
in better part of the 2007-08 seasons in Spain, Fred scored seven goals from eight games.
At the Ghana 2008 nations cup, Kanoute still distinguished himself as Mali almost humiliated
Nigeria as they held the Super Eagles to a goalless draw in a game Mali almost won.
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