Mane is Africa's Best
By Samuel Victor Akpan
Senegal’s Sadio Mane has been named CAF Men’s Player of the Year for 2019.
The Liverpool forward scooped the continent’s biggest individual award beating stiff competition from Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Egypt’s Mohammed Salah at the ceremony held in Hurghada, Egypt. .
It would be the first time Mane wins the award after finishing third in 2016 and second in 2017 and 2018 behind Mo Salah. He also becomes the first Senegalese to bag the prize since El Hadji Diouf in 2002.
The 27-year-old who was instrumental in Senegal’s run to the final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt (scoring three goals) in June where they narrowly lost to Algeria, was also pivotal in Liverpool’s charge to a sixth European crown in Madrid in May.
Mane, an ever-present figure for the Terranga Lions and the Reds was joint top scorer in the Premier League last season with 22 goals, alongside club team-mate Mo Salah and Arsenal’s Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He was also named the Player of the Month twice last season in the Premier League, in March and November 2019.
In a truly remarkable calendar year for Mane, the former Red Bull Salzburg and Southampton forward helped Liverpool add the UEFA Super Cup trophy to their Champions League crown by scoring twice in Istanbul as the Reds defeated Chelsea on penalties.
He also helped Klopp’s side win the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2019. He has scored 13 goals so far this season for Liverpool and provided seven assists.
Mane was named in the 2018/2019 PFA Team of the Year as well as the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season for 2018/2019.
He was also a nominee in the FIFA FIFPRO World 11 for 2019 (4th Forward) and in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament for 2019.
Mane finished in fifth place for the 2019 The Best FIFA Men’s Player and also in fourth in the prestigious Ballon d’Or Award for 2019.
Furthermore, the Senegal International was also in the 2019 IFFHS Men’s World Team.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala has been named CAF Women’s Player of the Year.
Oshoala was crowned ahead of Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Beijing Pheonix FC as well as Ajara Nchout of Cameroon and Valerenga.
Other winners on the night include:
African Inter-clubs Player of the Year: Youcef Belaili (Egypt & Zamalek).
African Youth Player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Dortmund).
African Men’s Coach of the Year: Djamel Belmadi (Algeria).
African Women’s Coach of the Year: Desiree Ellis (South Africa).
African Men’s National Team of the Year: Algeria
African National Women’s Team of the Year: Cameroon
African Goal of the Year: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria V Nigeria).
Special Award: Kodjovi Obilale.
FIFPRO Africa’s Best 11: Andery Onana (Cameroon & Ajax), Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & Spurs), Joel Matip (Cameroon & Liverpool), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Dortmund), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal & PSG), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Man City), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax), Mohammed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool).