Yaya Toure: African footballer of the year profile

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AFOTY nominee Yaya Toure

The dream of Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure finally came true in 2015 when, at the sixth time of asking, he lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.

After falling at the last hurdle in 2006 and 2012, both times on penalties, the Elephants finally won a shootout as they beat Ghana after a goalless final - with Toure converting his spot-kick.

Just eight years old when Ivory Coast won their first Nations Cup in 1992, the powerful central midfielder had now captained them to their second.

It was fitting reward for one of Africa's best ever players, and validation for a generation that had long carried a 'golden' tag.

"From 2006, people were always saying Ivory Coast is the best team but we never did it," Toure, who made the team of the tournament for the third time, told BBC Sport.

"2015 was amazing because it was with my brother (Kolo), and lifting the trophy as captain was unbelievable."

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AFOTY nominee Yaya Toure

His usual bustling self throughout, Toure cajoled his side, led from the heart of midfield and crashed home a thumping volley in the semi-final against DR Congo.

Upon the team's triumphant return to Abidjan, it was the 2013 BBC African Footballer of the Year who had the honour of carrying the trophy onto Ivorian soil from the airplane - the figurehead of a side that had lost Didier Drogba to international retirement months earlier.

While the Nations Cup highlighted his impact for his country, it also reiterated his significance for his club.

Prior to his departure, City were joint top of the Premier league - with Toure's last nine games delivering nine victories.

Without him, the Manchester giants failed to win their next five games, dropping off the Premier League pace while also exiting the FA Cup.

Yaya Toure in focus
Club: Manchester City Age: 32Toure was a member of the star-studded Barcelona team that won an unprecedented six trophies during the 2009 calendar year
Toure has made 100 appearances for Ivory Coast and scored 19 goals Toure became the first player to be named African Footballer of the Year four years in a row

They ended 2014-15 without silverware but despite missing two months for the Nations Cup, the towering Ivorian was one of only three players to hit 10 goals or more (alongside Sergio Aguero and David Silva).

The 32-year-old began this season even stronger, driving City to the top of the Premier League and starting every Champions League match as the club finally nailed the group stages.

In October, he made the Fifa Ballon d'Or shortlist for the fourth straight year - and for the last three, he has been the only African.

This is largely because Toure is unplayable on his day, often resembling a grown-up taking on kids as he eases past opponents in one of the world's top leagues.

City had won nothing in four decades prior to the former Barcelona star's arrival in 2010. Since then they have earned two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, a League Cup and regular Champions League football.

Why he should win: Oluwashina Okeleji, BBC African Sport

Yaya Toure has now been nominated for the BBC African Footballer of the Year award, which he won in 2013, a record seven times. Widely regarded as one of his generation's finest midfielders, he has again shown his immeasurable worth to both club and country in 2015.

A powerhouse who can dominate opponents with his strength and determination, Toure is used to winning - and in February, he captained Ivory Coast to the Nations Cup title. He may have shone at previous tournaments, but at this year's event his flame burned white hot.

He is the lone African on the 23-man shortlist for Fifa World Player of the Year and few would argue against him being his continent's most influential player right now. That's why the Ivorian should be BBC African Footballer of the Year for a second time.

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