Ex-Ghana midfielder Derek Boateng insists former Black Stars teammate Michael Essien should have claimed the African Footballer of the Year Award.
Essien had a blissful season at Chelsea during the 2006/07 season winning the English Premiership with the Blues and also excelling at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Having won the BBC African Footballer of the Year and the Chelsea Player of the Year awards, Essien was tipped to be crowned the CAF player of the year but surprisingly lost out to ex-Malian International Frédéric Kanouté.
Boateng feels his former teammate deserved the accolade after an outstanding season for both Club and country.
“I would rate him among the greatest African players of all-time. When I’m putting down my [African] XI, Essien will be in the squad. He’s a great player. He’s done so much for Ghana, himself at the club side and he’s a good man. I’m happy for him. I respect him and we stay friends,” Boateng spoke to Goal.
“He should have won the African best player award, I think in 2006-2007 during his time under [Jose] Mourinho at Chelsea,” He added.
The 35-year-old could not win the prestigious award despite making the top three in four different occasions, thus in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.