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AFCON Best Player List: Golden Ball Winners in the Africa Cup of Nations From Mane to Ekong
- Many big-name stars have won the Best Player award at the Africa Cup of Nations
- Senegal's Sadio Mane won the prestigious prize in the last edition of the AFCON
- William Troost-Ekong won the Best Player award this year despite losing the final
The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has come to a close.
Each AFCON concludes with a selection of awards given to the players who have distinguished themselves during the tournament.
The prize that African players covet the most is the tournament's Best Player award.
Sports Brief looks at the complete list of Golden Ball winners in AFCON history.
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AFCON Best Player Winners
Ad-Diba became the first person to win the Best Player award in the AFCON, taking home the top prize in 1957. He captured the award after scoring all four of Egypt's goals in the final against Ethiopia, per FIFA.com.
Four more Egyptian players took home the Best Player award, including Ahmed Hassan, who won it twice in 2006 and 2010. He is the only person to win the AFCON's Best Player award two times.
Karim Abdul Razak
Hosny Abd Rabo
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Several big-name players have won this award, including Cameroon's Roger Milla in 1986, South Africa's Benni McCarthy in 1998, Nigeria's Jay-Jay Okocha in 2004, and Senegal's Sadio Mane in the 2021 edition.
Mane became the first Senegalese player to win the Golden Ball after leading his country to the 2021 AFCON title.
He recorded three goals and two assists in the tournament and scored the winning goal in the penalty shootout against Egypt in the final, per Goal.com.
Nigeria's William Troost-Ekong took home the Best Player award this year despite his country losing the final to Ivory Coast.
He scored three goals in the tournament, including the opener against Ivory Coast in Sunday's final.
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AFCON Golden Boot winners
Sports Brief also previously recently reported on the AFCON Golden Boot winners, with seven players having won this trophy twice.
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Names on the list include Ivory Coast's Laurent Pokou and Abdoulaye Traore, Nigeria's Rashidi Yekini, and Roger Milla of Cameroon.
Vincent Aboubakar was the most recent winner of the Golden Boot in 2021, scoring eight goals during that year's tournament.