April 20, 2024

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Ivory Coast’s Seko Fofana wins FRANCE 24-RFI award for best African player in Ligue 1

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Ivory Coast’s Seko Fofana wins FRANCE 24-RFI award for best African player in Ligue 1

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FRANCE 24 and our sister radio station RFI awarded the 2022 Marc-Vivien Foé Prize for the year’s ideal African footballer in Ligue 1 to RC Lens captain Seko Fofana. A sharp and decisive participant, the 27-year-outdated Ivorian has proven himself as an indispensable participant for his club and a person of the most prosperous gamers in the French top rated flight.

Fofana has performed a vital role in RC Lens’s rise to prominence – reaching 7th put in Ligue 1 this period just two a long time just after getting promoted.

The Ivorian star has lived up to his early assure, scoring 8 targets in 35 league games in 2021-22.

Born in Paris on Could 7, 1995, Fofana begun his job as a little one at Paris FC from 2004 to 2010 the French capital’s small-known next team getting a fertile breeding floor for young talent. Fofana then stepped up a notch by signing up for the academy of Lorient, the place he performed from 2010 to 2013.

Fofana got his massive break when Premier League giants Manchester Metropolis signed him in 2013 soon after spotting his performances for the French countrywide team’s below-16 and less than-17 sides.

This delivered a fantastic option for Fofana’s advancement, as he rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest gamers of the working day, like his compatriot and idol Yaya Touré. He listened diligently to the tips of Person City’s renowned managers Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini.

Having said that, the youthful Fofana didn’t play any 1st staff matches – continuing his apprenticeship in the Gentleman Metropolis reserves underneath the tutelage of French footballing icon Patrick Viera.

Fofana’s performances in the reserves captivated the awareness of Fulham, then in the Championship, English football’s second tier. A profitable 2014-15 season on financial loan at Craven Cottage led to a different bank loan spell, this time in Ligue 1 at Corsican aspect Sporting Club de Bastia.

The club finished the 2015-16 season at a respectable 10th location – with Fofana building a sterling contribution to that superior than anticipated performances in his 32 appearances. Italy’s Udinese – who have a knack for snapping up young talent – favored what they saw and signed the Ivorian from Person Metropolis for €3.5 million.

Fofana seriously came into his own throughout his extend at the Serie A club from 2016 to 2020 – benefitting from the Italian league’s demanding tactical design.

At the stop of this period, Fofana resolved to return to France, irrespective of an offer from Atalanta Bergamo, a person of the most remarkable teams in Europe.

Irrespective of remaining joined with Marseille many situations, Fofana signed for Lens in 2020 – as they smashed their club transfer record to snap him up for €10 million, eager to develop into a formidable power in Ligue 1. Fofana soon recognized himself as one particular of the club’s critical players, producing a formidable partnership with Congolese teammate Gaël Kakuta, who received the 2021 Marc-Vivien Foé Award.

“This is the greatest facet I’ve ever played in the previous time I experienced this was at City’s youth crew,” Fofana told So Foot journal in 2021.

These kinds of is Fofana’s devotion to his club that he declined the likelihood to participate in for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations in January – preferring to devote himself to French club competitions.

But after garnering a great deal consideration for his performances, Fofana may possibly perfectly be environment his sights far higher than RC Lens quickly ample – with a transfer to a Champions League workforce on the playing cards.

A group of almost 100 journalists specialising in French and African soccer selected the winner from a shortlist of 12 gamers drawn up by the activity departments of FRANCE 24 and RFI.

This annual award for the greatest African player in Ligue 1 has been named soon after Marc-Vivien Foé given that 2011, in tribute to the Cameroonian participant who died abruptly while enjoying for his country in a match against Colombia at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon on June 26, 2003. Gamers who have been capped for an African countrywide team and played in at the very least 15 Ligue 1 matches about the previous year are eligible for the prize.

Earlier winners:


2021: Gaël Kakuta (DR Congo)


2020 : Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)


2019 : Nicolas Pépé (Ivory Coast)


2018: Karl Toko-Ekambi (Cameroon)


2017: Jean Michaël Seri (Ivory Coastline)


2016: Sofiane Boufal (Morocco)


2015 : André Ayew (Ghana)


2014: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)


2013: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)


2012 : Younès Belhanda (Morocco)


2011 : Gervinho (Ivory Coastline)


2010: Gervinho (Ivory Coastline)


2009: Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)

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