Senegal forward Sadio Mane has been named the 2019 Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Player of the Year.
The 27-year-old who has finished in the award’s top three for the last three years saw off competition from Liverpool teammate and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah as well as Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez to become the first Senegalese winner since El Hadji Diouf in 2002.
Neither Salah who had won the award in both the past two years nor 2016 winner Mahrez were present for the ceremony at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, with the latter in action for English club Manchester City in the League Cup.
Mane, enjoyed an extraordinary 2019 helping Liverpool to the 2018/19 Champions League title, the European Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup title in addition to scoring 30 goals in all competitions last season.
He has scored 15 goals so far in 2019/20, with Liverpool 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
“I’m really happy and proud to win this. Football is my job, I love it,” said Mane.
“I would like to thank my family, my national team, staff, the federation and Liverpool Football Club. It’s a big day for me.”
Salah, Mane and Mahrez all made the African best XI team, along with three other Premier League-based players – Liverpool centre-half Joel Matip, Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Mahrez was also awarded the African goal of the year for a free-kick he scored for Algeria against Nigeria in his country’s Afcon semi-final victory.
Meanwhile, Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala was named the Women’s Player of the Year for a record-equalling fourth time drawing level with legendary Nigerian midfielder Perpetua Nkwocha.
The Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala beat off competition from Valerenga and Cameroon forward Ajara Nchout and Beijing BG Phoenix and South Africa forward Thembi Kgatlana to reclaim the award she also won in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
It wasn’t all good news for Nigeria as Super Eagles duo of Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze lost out to Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi, 21, in the Youth Player of the Year category.
Former Super Falcons coach Thomas Dennerby was also overlooked in favour of Bayana Bayana coach Desiree Ellis for the Women’s Coach of the Year award while Djamel Belmadi who led Algeria to the 2019 AFCON title picked up the Men’s prize.
Cameroon, who lost 3-0 to England in the last 16 of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, picked up the prize for African Women’s National Team of the Year, with Africa Cup of Nations winners Algeria taking the men’s honour.
Full List of Award Winners
Player of the Year
Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona & Nigeria)
Youth Player of the Year
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
Men’s Coach of the Year
Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Women’s Coach of the Year
Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
Men’s National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
African Club President of the Year award
Moise Katumbi – TP Mazembe
Goal of the Year
Riyad Marez (Algeria & Manchester City)
African best XI: Andre Onana (Ajax/Cameroon), Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund/Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/Senegal), Joel Matip (Liverpool/Cameroon), Serge Aurier (Tottenham/Ivory Coast), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City/Algeria), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Paris St-Germain/Senegal), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax/Morocco), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt), Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)