One time Affican footballer of the year and Nigerian ex-international Emmanuel Amuneke who scooped Africa’s top individual award in 1994 says he was surprised to win arguably the fiercest in the history of the award.
Amuneke edged out compatriot and 1993 winner Rashidi Yekini, 1995 world footballer of the year, Liberia’s George Weah, Ghana’s Tony Yeboah and Guinea’s Titi Camara.
“It was indeed a great moment for me,” Amuneke said in an interview with Nigerian newspaper the Punch.
“I was not expecting it because, at that time, there were great players such as Rashidi Yekini, George Weah, Tony Yeboah, and Titi Camara. Back then, I was even playing in Egypt, not Europe.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have been a one-time ‘African Footballer of the Year’. As players, we all aspire to be the best on our continent, so I was happy.”
Amuneke, just like others shortlisted for the award, enjoyed success both at club and national team level. He was part of the Eagles team that won the 1994 AFCON and also enjoyed success with Zamalek of Egypt winning the Egyptian Premier League and CAF Champions League.
His 1994 success secured him a move to Portugal with Sporting where he spent two years before joining Spanish giant Barcelona in 1996.
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