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Yacine Brahimi voted BBC African player of the year

LONDON: Porto’s Algerian winger Yacine Brahimi was voted the BBC’s 2014 African Footballer of the Year on Monday.

Brahimi is the first Algerian to win the award, which is chosen by members of the public, after a fine year for club and country.

After a record number of votes were submitted from fans in 207 countries, Paris-born Brahimi won the coveted award ahead of Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama, Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ivory Coast duo Gervinho and Yaya Toure, the Manchester City midfielder who took the prize in 2013.

“It’s a big honour for me to receive this wonderful trophy. I owe it to my country, Algeria, and to all the people who voted for me,” Brahimi told BBC Sport.

“It’s also a trophy for the whole of Africa, because it rewards an African player. So I am really very happy.

“This trophy is going to give me more strength, more desire to work, to get better, to learn so that I can keep having great performances.”

Brahimi impressed for Algeria at the World Cup, scoring his first international goal in the group stage against South Korea, as the team reached the last 16 for the first time.

The 24-year-old had started the year at Spanish club Granada, where his strong performances earned him a move to Porto ahead of the current campaign.

Brahimi has scored six goals in 15 appearances for the Portuguese club, including a hat-trick against BATE Borisov in the Champions League.

“First I won the award because of the people who voted for me. So once again I need to thank them,” he added.

“Then it’s thanks for FC Porto — they allowed me to play in the Champions League, to play in big games and to have great performances.

“The club has allowed me to express myself and to perform well on the pitch.” -AFP

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