Liverpool’s Sadio Mane won the African Player of the Year award on Tuesday night, his first time winning the individual prize.
“I’m really happy and proud to win this award. I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle, who is here today. By the way, we don’t forget all the Egyptian people… [I would like to thank] My national team and staff, Senegalese Football Federation, Liverpool football club, teammates and everybody…I don’t know how to say it, but I would love to thank all the Senegalese people,” Mane said at the ceremony, which was held in the Hurghada, Egypt.
First Mane, then Salah
Mohamed Salah, Mane’s teammate in Liverpool, stood second in the rankings for the award, while Man City and Algeria star Riyad Mahrez remained third. Salah won the African Player of the Year award in 2017, and 2018, while Mahrez bagged the prize in 2016.
Last year Mane promised to win the award and shared he is now very happy to make his promise a reality, adding it was not easy for him to earn it.
The 27-year old had a very successful year. He won the Champions League and Club World Cup with Liverpool and reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, where his Senegal lost to Algeria. He scored a total of 34 goals and provided 12 assists in 61 matches last year.
The 2019 African Cup Champions Algeria were expectedly named Men’s Team of the Year, while Cameroon were given the Women’s National Team of the Year award for reaching the Round of 16 in the Women’s World Cup in France.
Borussia Dortmund’s 21-year old Morrocan left-back Achraf Hakimi was awarded African Youth Player of the Year. Riyad Mahrez received the African Goal of the Year award, and Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala was selected as African Women’s Player of the Year.