Former Super Eagles star Odion Ighalo has won the golden boot at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations while Algeria star Ismail Bennacer won the coveted best player award.
Ighalo who reportedly announced his international retirement after Super Eagles third-place victory over Tunisia beat the likes of Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane to the award.
He scored five goals in the competition ahead of the duo who both had three goals going into the final. Ighalo opened his account in the competition against Burundi in Nigeria’s first group match.
He came on to bag the winner in the game. But he did not find the net again until Nigeria’s second-round clash against Cameroon where he scored twice to extend his tally to three goals.
He did not score in the quarter-final victory over South Africa but was on target in the semifinal loss to Algeria, scoring from the penalty spot. He ensured history by joining Rashidi Yekini as the only Nigerian to score five goals in AFCON when he scored the winner in the third-place match against Tunisia.
Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez were Ighalo’s threat for the golden boot with both on three goals going into the final. However, neither could find the target as Bounedjah’s opener was enough for Algeria to win their first AFCON title in 29 years.
Meanwhile, Ismail Bennacer was named the player of the tournament despite not scoring a goal in the tournament. In winning the prestigious award, he becomes the second Algerian player to win it after Rabah Madjer