Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has been awarded the prestigious African Footballer of the Year trophy for the third consecutive year during the ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday night.
The 30-year-old secured the continent's top footballer award beating the likes of Chelsea's John Obi Mikel and Galatasaray star Didier Drogba.
Toure had been instrumental in helping Ivory Coast go unbeaten en-route to qualifying for the summer World Cup in Brazil by scoring four goals. But the midfielder could do little in preventing Nigeria beat his side 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations last year.
The former Barcelona player expressed his joy at being declared the winner and congratulated his fellow professionals for the trophy.
"I'm very proud and happy to be the winner today. I congratulate my brother Obi Mikel who deserved it as well. It's an unbelievable award for all those who helped me through my career a lot and those who supported me for a long time," Toure said.
Toure is only the third African player after Ghana's Abedi Pele [1991-93] and Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o [2003-2005] to win the award three times in a row. However, Eto'o is currently the top recipient of the award with four after winning his last one in 2010.
Toure has been a valuable player for the Citizens since joining them in 2010 and also helped them win the Premier League trophy in 2011/12 season.
This season, the midfielder has already thumped 13 goals in 27 appearances in all competitions for City as he looks to guide the Citizens to win silverwares this season.