AFCON 2024: Troost-Ekong wins golden ball, Nwabali beaten to goalkeeper award  

Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong has been named the player of the tournament at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024).

The 30-year-old started six of his country’s seven matches at the AFCON and was a key figure in their journey to the final.

Troost-Ekong also contributed three goals in the tournament and was once again on the score sheet during the final against hosts Ivory Coast on Sunday, February 11.

However, the PAOK defender’s first-half strike was not enough for Nigeria, as the Elephants came from behind to win their third AFCON trophy following second-half goals from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller.

Troost-Ekong named player of AFCON 2024

Despite the Super Eagles’ defeat to Ivory Coast in the final of the AFCON, Troost-Ekong was named the player of the tournament for his outstanding performances.

The former Watford and Udinese centre-back beat off competition from compatriot Ademola Lookman, Emilio Nsue and other players to scoop the award.

Even at 30, Troost-Ekong led by example during the tournament and played through the pain after picking up an injury in Nigeria’s second group game.

He subsequently missed the Super Eagles’ final group A game against Guinea-Bissau but returned to play every single minute in the knockout stages, including 120 minutes in the semi-final against South Africa.

Nwabali loses out on best AFCON 2024 goalkeeper award

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s number one Stanley Nwabali was beaten to the goalkeeper of the tournament award by South Africa’s Ronwen Williams.

Nwabali had a breakout tournament and produced several great saves in the final, as he ended the competition with four clean sheets in seven matches.

Williams, though, kept five clean sheets in seven games and also saved a combined six penalties in the quarter-final and third-place playoff shootouts during the tournament to help Bafana Bafana win bronze.

Also, Ivory Coast’s Simon Adingra won the Best Young Player of the Tournament award, while Emilio Nsue walked away with the Golden Boot after scoring five times for Equatorial Guinea.

Finally, Emerse Fae, who assumed the role of caretaker coach after Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked and led the hosts to win the AFCON, was adjudged the best coach of the tournament.

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.