Ghana international, Andre Ayew has had a high profile career end at Marseille by being named best African player in France’s Ligue 1 on Monday.
25 year-old Ayew, finished ahead of Ivory Coast’s Max Gradel (Saint-Etienne) and Tunisia’s Aymen Abdennour (Monaco).
The winger who was part of the Ghana side that lost to Ivory Coast 9-8 on penalties in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final — was picked by a jury of journalists and received the Marc-Vivien Foe Trophy handed out by French radio station RFI and TV channel France 24.
“I am very honoured to have received such a prize,” said Ayew, whose father Marseille legend Abedi Pele was African footballer of the year three times.
“It’s not just anything for an African player in France. France has had a lot of good African players.
“I have often been close to winning it and this year was the good one. It just proves I have to work even harder… Only work pays.
“It’s been a good season. Maybe one of my best. I’ve improved a lot. I am happy but I can do better and work harder to improve even more.”
Ayew, who played in both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals, said that next Saturday’s match which will be his final one for Marseille after over a decade at the club would be very strange.
“Finishing third is important and the result against Bastia is important,” said Ayew referring to Marseille’s bid to take the final Champions League place on offer.
“But this game is not just any game for me.
“I don’t know how to approach this. I didn’t think this day would come, me leaving the Velodrome after 11 years at Marseille.
“I just want to skip Saturday. But that’s life. The day is coming and I don’t know what will happen. But I need to focus on this game.”
Ayew, whose younger brother Jordan was also at Marseille before leaving for Lorient at the beginning of the season, has attracted interest from several English clubs including relegation-threatened Newcastle, a regular raider of Ligue 1, Tottenham, Arsenal and the club he idolised as a boy – Liverpool.
His decision to leave is a mixture of Marseille not being able to meet his wage demands and a wish to seek a new challenge.
“The president (Vincent Labrune) has spoken thus everything has been brought out into the open more or less,” said Ayew, who scored 10 goals in 27 appearances this season, after Saturday’s win over Lille.
“I am going to leave the club and it is a page turned.
“There are lots of things behind the decision. We tried to find a solution which would enable me to stay but for both parties it was complicated, whether it be for sporting or financial reasons.
“I was expecting more, I hoped the club would have a more competitive team for next year that could be title contenders and that’s not certain.
“Also the club cannot offer me the same salary that I’m on at the moment,” added Ayew.
SEE ALSO: GLO-CAF Awards 2014: Yaya Toure makes history as first player to win CAF Footballer of the Year Award four times!
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