Laurent Pokou Former AFCON all-time top scorer passes away

Former Ivory Coast striker Laurent N'dri Pokou has died at the age of 69 after a long period of illness.

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Ivorian legend, Laurent Pokou passed away in Abidjan at age 69 on Sunday, after a long illness.

With 14 goals in two Africa Cups of Nations, he was the tournament's all-time top scorer from 1970 until 2008 when Samuel Eto'o broke his record.

He was twice the highest goal scorer of the Africa Cup of Nations, scoring six goals in the 1968 tournament in Ethiopia and eight in the 1970 edition in Sudan, including 5 in one match against Ethiopia, which Ivory Coast won 6-1.

Pokou's five-goal haul for Ivory Coast against Ethiopia in Khartoum on 10 February, 1970 in the group phase of the finals remains a record for the most in a single Nations Cup finals game.

This performance gave him his nickname L'homme d'Asmara (the man of Asmara). With 14 total goals, he is also the tournament's second highest overall goalscorer, behind Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, who eclipsed Pokou's record in the 2008 ACN tournament.

It stood until 2008 when Samuel Eto'o passed it, albeit when the Cameroonian was competing in his fifth Nations Cup finals.

He played for Asec Mimosas, before joining clubs in France.

The goals at the continental championship saw him finish runner-up behind Salif Keita in the first African Footballer of the Year award in 1970 (at that time organised by France Football magazine).

His form also set him up for an inevitable transfer to France where he quickly became an idol at Stade Rennes.

Pokou scored 52 goals in 82 games in two spells with the club. In between he went for a spell at Nancy when Rennes fell into financial difficulty and had a young Michel Platini as a team-mate. Rennes supporters helped raised the 70,000 (French franc) transfer fee to take him back to the club.

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