Seydou Keita wins top Mali award

Keita has finally come in from the cold for Mali, having been absent since the Eagles exited the Nations Cup in January 2010

Mali midfielder Seydou Keita has been named as his country's Sports Personality of the Year for 2011.

The 31-year-old, who plays for Spanish giants Barcelona, was crowned at a ceremony in Bamako on Sunday.

This comes just three days after he finished second in the Caf African Player of the Year award.

Keita helped Barcelona to the Champions League title, La Liga crown and the Club World Cup this year.

The midfielder takes the top crown just four months returning to the national team after a one-year absence.

Coach Alain Giresse recalled Keita to the Mali squad in September for the first time since January 2010.

After last year's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola, the midfield star took a break from the international game.

But he returned for their home game against Cape Verde to help the Eagles qualify for 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

He will be part of Mali's squad for next month's tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Top Stories