LIBREVILLE Chipolopolo proved at this Africa Cup of Nations that spirit and determination can take a team further than reputation and class.
Zambia captain Christopher Katongo was awarded the Man of the Competition award, with the Top Scorer award going to Emmanuel Mayuka.
The Chipolopolo skipper inspired his team to a first-ever Nations Cup victory, despite their underdogs tag, as they beat Ivory Coast 8-7 after an epic penalty shoot-out.
Katongo and his teammate Mayuka each got three goals in the tournament as did Didier Drogba, Manucho, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Cheick Diabat and Houssine Kharja but Mayuka was given the award, perhaps because of his first-rate acrobatics.
The Team of the Tournament features four Ivorians and four Zambians, as well as Seydou Keita and Adama Tamboura of Mali and John Mensah of Ghana.
The big names that were talked up ahead of the Nations Cup, such as Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew, Demba Ba and Mamadou Niang, did not make the tournament XI, and although Gervinho does, his performances were ultimately overshadowed by the unlikely stars of Zamiba and their keeper, Kennedy Mweene.
In a tournament that many gloomily predicted would be boring without the powerhouses Egypt, Nigeria or Cameroon, Zambia, who were never even tipped as dark horses, gave fans one of the most exciting Afcon finals ever, catching the imagination and proving that big names do not equate to success, or even positive, charismatic football.
It is doubtful that the Ivorians Fair Play Award will do much to dumb the pain of missing out on yet another title.
Orange Man of the Competition: Christopher Katongo (Zambia)
Pepsi Top Scorer of the Competition: Emmanuel Mayuka (Zambia)
Samsung Fair Player of the Competition: Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Cote dIvoire)
Fair Play Award: Cote dIvoire
Team of the Tournament
Kennedy Mweene (Zambia) Gosso Jean-Jacques Gosso (Cote dIvoire), Stoppila Sunzu (Zambia), John Mensah (Ghana), Adama Tamboura (Mali) Emmanuel Mayuka (Zambia), Yaya Gnegneri Toure (Cote dIvoire), Kouassi Gervais Yao (Cote dIvoire), Seydou Keita (Mali) Christopher Katongo (Zambia), Didier Drogba (Cote dIvoire)
Boubacar Barry (Cte dIvoire)
Fernando Da Gracia Gomez (Equitorial Guinea)
Youssef Msakni (Tunisia)
Mateus Contreiras Manucho (Angola)
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Sadio Diallo (Guinea)
Cheick Tidiane Diabate (Mali)
Eric Mouloungui (Gabon)
Houssine Kharja (Morocco)
Mudathir Eltaib Ibrahim (Sudan)
Rainford Kalaba (Zambia)
Kwadwo Asamoah (Ghana)