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Liverpool's Mane bags African Player of Year award

Africa Cup of Nations silver medalist nets 34 goals, makes 12 assists in 61 matches to be 2019's best African player

Can Erozden   | 08.01.2020
Liverpool's Mane bags African Player of Year award

ANKARA

Liverpool's Senegalese forward Sadio Mane won the 2019 African Player of the Year award late Tuesday.

"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 held in the Egyptian city of Hurghada.

Mane added in French that it wasn't easy for him to get this award and he promised last year to win it and is now really happy.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has been organizing the event every year and this year's presenter was Cameroonian football legend Samuel Eto’o.

Mane beat fellow Liverpool star Mohamed Salah from Egypt and Manchester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez to bag the award for the first time.

Salah claimed back-to-back African Player of the Year awards in 2017 and 2018 while Mahrez earned the award for 2016.

Mane, 27, has been one the integral parts of Liverpool, helping the Reds win the 2019 UEFA Champions League title.

He scored 34 goals and produced 12 assists in 61 matches last year.

Mane was the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) silver medalist. Senegal lost the final against Algeria 1-0 in Cairo.

- 2019 Africa champs Algeria named team of year

The 2019 AFCON champions, Algeria, claimed the African Men’s Team of the Year.

Meanwhile, Cameroon were given the Women’s National Team of the Year award as they reached the Round of 16 in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. Cameroon lost to England 3-0 in the last 16 match in Valenciennes, France to return home.

Algerian midfielder Mahrez received the African Goal of the Year award, scoring a critical goal in the 2019 AFCON.

Algeria went through the 2019 final as Mahrez scored a free kick in injury time, clinching Algeria’s victory over Nigeria in the semis.

Algeria booked their place for the AFCON final by eliminating Nigeria 2-1 in the semifinal match in Cairo.

Meanwhile, the African Women's Player of the Year award went to Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala.

Oshoala, 25, helped Barcelona make the 2019 UEFA Women's Champions League final, where she scored the consolation goal against Olympique Lyon. Barcelona returned home with a silver medal over its 4-1 loss in Budapest.

Separately, Borussia Dortmund right-back Achraf Hakimi, 21, from Morocco was named the African Youth Player of the Year.

- Ex-Togo goalkeeper earns Special Award

Kodjovi Obilale, a former Togolese goalkeeper, was handed the Special Award.

Obilale had to face an early retirement from football as the Togo national team bus was ambushed in Angola's Cabinda province by gunmen on the way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations on Jan. 8, 2010.

Obilale was shot twice but survived. He underwent many operations.

The Togolese team withdrew from the competition over the terrorist attack as they returned home by plane after the assault, which killed three people and injured nine others.

The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Angola (FLEC) claimed responsibility for the attack.

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