Ghana winger Christian Atsu (Photo: Reuters)
Everton's Ghanaian forward Christian Atsu revealed his surprise at being named Nations Cup's best player.
The 23-year-old, who was loaned from Premier League giants Chelsea to Everton, also helped the Black Stars reach the Nations Cup final to face their West African neighbours Ivory Coast.
But they failed to end a 33-year title drought, after losing to the Elephants 9-8 on penalties following a 0-0 draw.
"Thank God for what he has done for me,” Atsu told Everton's official website on Monday.
"I always expect good things from Him but I wasn’t expecting to be the best player in the tournament.
"Any gift that comes from God I appreciate so much and it has given me a lot of confidence and motivated me for the future.
"I was happy with my performances and I worked very hard. I had a lot of help from my teammates contributing to my good form.”
The on-loan forward added he was thrilled by the choosing of his goal against Equatorial Guinea as the best in the tournament.
Atsu scored the tournaments best goal after a nice curling shot which helped the Black Stars ease past the hosts in the tournament's semis.
"I wasn’t expecting to win that either but I am very happy people voted for that goal as the best in the competition,” Atsu added.
"I remember in the game, I cut back inside and I saw the keeper take two steps outside the six yard box. So I decided to try and curl the ball in the far post.
"I will keep pushing and working hard to get more goals for Ghana."
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