Sadio Mane and Nigeria’s Oshoala crowned African players of the Year

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Liverpool star and Senegalese striker  Sadio Mane has won the 2019 African Player of the Year award.

The 27-year old Senegal forward claimed the top prize for the first time on Tuesday, January 7 at the 2019 CAF Awards ceremony held at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt, beating club mate Mohamed Salah of Egypt who won the award the last two years, as well as Algeria’s and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.

However, neither Salah nor Mahrez attended the event.

Mane had an eventful 2019 with Liverpool, winning the UEFA Champions League and coming second behind City in the English Premier League. He was also part of the Senegalese team which lost the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of the Nations in Egypt 1-0 to Algeria.

He placed fourth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or behind Lionnel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Giving his acceptance speech, Mane said, “I am really happy and at the same time I am really proud to win this award. It’s a big day for me.”

According to CAF statistics, the Senegalese scored 34 goals and made 12 assists in 61 appearances last year.

Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze lost the Youth Player of the Year award to Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi.

In the female category, Super Falcons’ Captain Asisat Oshoala was named as the 2019 African Women’s Player of the Year.

Oshoala, who plays for Spanish side Barcelona, beat Ajara Nchout of Cameroon and South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana, who was crowned in Senegal last year to claim the title.

It is the fourth time the 25-year-old is being crowned the best African female footballer.

She won the award in 2014, 2016 and 2017, and was also among the final three in 2018 but lost to her South African rival Kgatlana.

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Shortly after she was announced as the winner, Oshoala took to Twitter to thank her family and friends, as well as her fans and colleagues locally and internationally for their support.

Other male awards were claimed by Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi, Algerian Youcef Belaili for African Interclubs Player of the Year and Algeria’s national team.

The female awardees were South African coach Desiree Ellis, and Cameroon’s women national team.

The award for the youth category was given to Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi of Borussia Dortmund.

The Egyptian Football Association won the Federation of the Year award.

Shortly after she was announced as the winner, Oshoala took to Twitter to thank her family and friends, as well as her fans and colleagues locally and internationally for their support.

Other male awards were claimed by Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi, Algerian Youcef Belaili for African Interclubs Player of the Year and Algeria’s national team.

The female awardees were South African coach Desiree Ellis, and Cameroon’s women national team.

The award for the youth category was given to Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi of Borussia Dortmund.

The Egyptian Football Association won the Federation of the Year award, while TP Mazembe’s Moise Katumbi won the African Club President of the Year award.

The FIFPro Africa Best 11 are Andre Onana (Cameroon), Hakimi, Kalilou Koulibaly (Senegal), Joel Matip (Cameroon), Sergie Aurier (Ivory Coast), Mahrez, Idrissa Gueye (Senegal), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco), Salah, Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon).

Former Togo goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale was given a special award. His career ended after he was severely injured in a bus attack against the Togolese team in the Cabinda Province, Angola, just days before the start of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

Yetunde Adegoke

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