Kanoute wins top award

Sevilla and Mali striker receives African accolade

Kanoute: Top award

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Former West Ham and Spurs striker Fredi Kanoute has become the 2007 African Footballer of the Year.

The Sevilla forward won the prestigious award on Friday, which is voted for by the national coaches of the 53 Confederation of African Football (CAF) associations.

Kanoute is the first European-born player to win and was nominated after helping Mali qualify for this year's Africa Cup of Nations finals and successes last season with Sevilla in the Uefa and King's Cups.

However, his golden touch deserted him at the tournament finals as he failed to score in three appearances as Mali were eliminated behind the Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Kanoute beat off competition from Chelsea pair Didier Drogba, the Ivory Coast captain, and Ghana's Michael Essien to land the award.