CAIRO: Sadio Mane has been named the 2019 Confederation of African Football’s Player of the Year.
The Senegal striker beat Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah – winner in 2017 and 2018 – and Manchester City’s Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez to the award.
The accolade was decided by votes from head coaches, technical directors and captains of Africa’s member associations.
Mane, collecting the award at a ceremony in Egypt on Tuesday night, said: “Football is my job – I love it. I’m really happy and really proud at the same time to win this award.
“I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle who is here today, and my national and Liverpool team-mates, staff, everybody.
“It is a big day for me. I would love to thank all the Senegalese people. They pushed me. I’m from a very small village, Bambali, I’m sure they are all watching me on TV.”
The 27-year-old helped Senegal to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mane ended the 2018-19 season by winning the Champions League at Liverpool and shared the Premier League Golden Boot award with Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Mane’s 2020 looks set to continue to deliver trophies, with Liverpool seemingly cruising to the Premier League title, while he is favourite to win the footballer of the year prizes already after his 15 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions.