Senegal forward Sadio Mane has been named the 2019 African Player of the Year.
The Liverpool attacker defeated his club teammate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez to win his maiden individual award on the continent.
Mane enjoyed an outstanding campaign at club and international level last year, helping Senegal to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where they eventually lost to Algeria.
Last season, the talisman scored 22 goals to share the Premier League Golden Boot with Salah and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He also played a key role in helping Liverpool win the Uefa Champions League, Super League and the Fifa Club World Cup last year.
Well deserved for #SadioMane. He’s been on another level the past 12-18 months and has contributed to some sublime individual and team performances. There have been times where his brilliance alone has won games for #LFC not to mention his elite mentality.pic.twitter.com/bUzwztbByr
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) January 7, 2020
In Africa’s best XI of the year, Mane is joined by Aubameyang and Salah in frontline while Mahrez, Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech, Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye formed the midfield and Cameroon’s Joel Matip, Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Ivory Coast’s Serge Aurier provide cover for goalkeeper Andre Onana in the defence.
Elsewhere, Mahrez’s match-winning free-kick against Nigeria at Afcon 2019 semi-final was picked as the Goal of the Year while Afcon champions Algeria won Men’s Team of the Year with Cameroon’s Indomitable Lioness claiming the women’s prize.