FC Porto winger Yacine Brahimi was today announced as the winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year Award 2014. 

The Algerian has been a revelation since his summer switch from La Liga club Granada to northern Portugal. His scintillating dribbling and numerous assists and goals have made him a firm fans' favourite at the Estádio do Dragão. 

Brahimi has been widely acknowledged as one of the best newcomers to the Primeira Liga in 2014/15 and he has shone even more brightly in the Champions League, scoring five goals in total in this season's competition, including a brilliant hat-trick in Porto's first group stage match against Bate Borisov. 

Only last week club team-mate and Portugal winger Ricardo Quaresma told the press, "Brahimi is truly exceptional. He can become the best player in the world." 

The award caps a memorable year for the 24-year-old, who was named the best African player in La Liga last season, then enjoyed a sparkling World Cup as Algeria reached the knockout phase for the first time in their history. 

"I thank FC Porto," said Brahimi. "The club has allowed me to play in the Champions League, in big games and to express myself and to perform well on the pitch. I hope to achieve big things this year both with my national team and my club." 

 

Comments (14)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Good scouting is smarter business than home grown talent! Brahimi joins a long list of FCP gems. Hulk, Falcao, James, Fernando,Cissokho, Lisandro, Lucho, Pepe, Deco, Maniche, Carvalho, Moutinho....the list goes on and on. This isn't the...

Good scouting is smarter business than home grown talent! Brahimi joins a long list of FCP gems. Hulk, Falcao, James, Fernando,Cissokho, Lisandro, Lucho, Pepe, Deco, Maniche, Carvalho, Moutinho....the list goes on and on. This isn't the national team gentleman, its a business where winning is what counts and staying out of the red means survival. I see too many unrealistic posts here complaining that not enough Portuguese players are on Benfica or FCP. Seriously??? Give me a few Portuguese players that FCP gave up on and became superstars after going someplace else. Keep your above average local grown players and give me those foreign Diamonds that translate to championships and big transfer fees.

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Steve is bang on with his point. Those of you who think about the Seleccao can keep your "patriotism", "passion" and "love" for the game to yourselves. If you were shareholders in Porto and Benfica like my buddy Steve and I, you'd know that...

Steve is bang on with his point. Those of you who think about the Seleccao can keep your "patriotism", "passion" and "love" for the game to yourselves. If you were shareholders in Porto and Benfica like my buddy Steve and I, you'd know that selling out to mercenaries who don't give two poops about loyalty, fans or clubs is where things are at. It's where the money's at baby! And my home skillet Steve and I are rolling in the dough!

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Wow, great minds think alike Trump. I was hoping somebody would take the bait and try to argue the counterpoint!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Steve, you seem confused. First off, I am a toupee, not a mind, so if we think alike, this just shows how mindless your statement really is. Secondly, how is it possible to "take the bait", yet also be a great mind who thinks alike? Your...

Steve, you seem confused. First off, I am a toupee, not a mind, so if we think alike, this just shows how mindless your statement really is. Secondly, how is it possible to "take the bait", yet also be a great mind who thinks alike? Your debating skills are as keen as Jorge Jesus' mullet. Well done sir.

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Oops! Looks like the too much Benfica in the toupee for a serious discussion. I wish you both luck on Dec 14th b/c you are going to need it!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Steve, your powers of deduction are incredible. Making fun of Jorge Jesus' mullet=Benfiquista.

Good work. What will be your next miraculous deductions? Water is wet? Heat is hot?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Steve - the problem with your post is that Porto don't give Portuguese players enough of a chance to begin with. Obviously no one is going to provide you with an extensive list of "Portuguese players that FCP gave up on and became superstars...

Steve - the problem with your post is that Porto don't give Portuguese players enough of a chance to begin with. Obviously no one is going to provide you with an extensive list of "Portuguese players that FCP gave up on and became superstars after going someplace else", when the team doesn't really care about nurturing Portuguese talent to begin with. Because of their (and other clubs') reluctance to take on more Portuguese youth, we simply don't know how many players have had their development stunted (and how many potential gems they've missed out on) due to a lack of interest. There is no replacement for the elite level experience that young players would get by playing for a club like Porto. There are many players who don't appear too exceptional at first but end up improving considerably after they're given a chance to benefit from top class trainers, facilities and match experience. In any case, it's up to each club, but it's a shame that Benfica and Porto develop players from other countries when so many talented young Portuguese are available but simply not given a chance. Look at Sporting a few seasons ago when they underwent their foreign overhaul of the team. If they had stuck with that policy, where would guys like William Carvalho, Cedric, Andre Silva, Joao Mario etc. be today? There is a good chance that some of them would not even be on our radar, nevermind receiving a call-up to the national team. I really think the league needs to do more to get the big clubs to field more Portuguese players.

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I agree that if Porto and Benfica took the time to nurturing /develop their extensive Portuguese youth and b-team players they would also produce a greater amount of top Portuguese talent. The issue with nurturing is that it takes time. Sporting...

I agree that if Porto and Benfica took the time to nurturing /develop their extensive Portuguese youth and b-team players they would also produce a greater amount of top Portuguese talent. The issue with nurturing is that it takes time. Sporting went back to nurturing players and it will be extremely hard for them to make 3rd place for the Champions league which will hurt their dollars. Granted that last year they pulled off an impressive 2nd place finish but that was with zero European games and getting knocked out early out the Taca. Their top two goal scorers were foreign players.

In looking at Benfica they won the 3 titles and made it to the EL while giving a good amount of playing time to A.Gomes, A.Almeida, Ruben, and even Ivan got some good playing time last season. This year Benfica have less Portuguese playing however they are still in the running for all 3 titles. As a fan of my club I want them to win titles, an added bonus is if they do it while developing players. Not winning titles and not qualifying for Europe will over time ensure that Sporting can only play rookies due to a lack of funds to buy players and will have little hope of keeping them or winning titles.

The last point I make is that there is nothing wrong with having domestic players having to fight for starting spots in our top clubs, we will have less Portuguese playing but the ones that do are ones that can compete at the top level and that is what we need for our national team. As long as each of the big 3 are popping out 1 to 3 Portuguese each season, they will overtime give Portuguese the quality talent they need.

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Also - placing a greater emphasis on Portuguese talent doesn't have to mean completely abolishing foreign player acquisitions. What needs to happen is a greater emphasis being placed on incorporating Portuguese players into the first team, to...

Also - placing a greater emphasis on Portuguese talent doesn't have to mean completely abolishing foreign player acquisitions. What needs to happen is a greater emphasis being placed on incorporating Portuguese players into the first team, to compliment the acquisition of foreign players.

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@ Ivo

I totally respect where you are coming from. But your premise is that soccer clubs in Portugal have an obligation to support local talent for the sake of the nation team. I trust FCP and their scouting and talent evaluation domestically...

@ Ivo

I totally respect where you are coming from. But your premise is that soccer clubs in Portugal have an obligation to support local talent for the sake of the nation team. I trust FCP and their scouting and talent evaluation domestically and abroad. I want them to be as successful as possible and don't look at nationality. Lucho was always my favorite player even when placed against portuguese players on my team. And I do believe that if they were dead wrong on a player with an enormous potential, then they would in all probability show up somewhere else down the road. Such as the cases of Deco or Maniche before they became european champions.

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I see where you're coming from Steve. But the key point isn't that the clubs have an obligation to develop players for the national team. The obligation is greater than that. In my opinion, the league has an even broader obligation to support the...

I see where you're coming from Steve. But the key point isn't that the clubs have an obligation to develop players for the national team. The obligation is greater than that. In my opinion, the league has an even broader obligation to support the continued development and progress of football in Portugal generally speaking. The league is Portuguese. It's caters primarily to a Portuguese audience. It generates revenue from Portuguese fans. It should place a greater emphasis on developing and nurturing youth talent as a service to the country from a sporting perspective and from an economic perspective. The academy set up is already quite great, the problem is more down the road where it's harder for players to get a chance to crack into the first team. Linked to this is the fact that many players who are overlooked are actually just as capable as some of the foreign players that are brought in. They're just simply not given an equal chance. Sporting before they reverted back to their youth development was a case in point.

With respect to your point about Sporting's success last season being an anomaly due to the limited number of games they played and that the leading scorers and foreign. Again, I'm not arguing for 100% Portuguese teams. Just a certain quota. And you can't expect Sporting to go back to winning championships after one of the worst seasons in the club's history. They've been struggling a bit this season, but they've still got a shot at moving on in the UCL (unlike Benfica), and they are only 1 point away from a Europa League spot in the table with many games still left to go before the end of the season. Few people would bet against them finishing in at least a Europa League spot and they are only five points back of a UCL spot which is definitely doable. So I don't think the picture is as gloomy as you may be suggesting.

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