Liverpool and Senegal star Sadio Mane and Nigeria and FC Barcelona Women forward Asisat Oshoala have picked up the top awards for African Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year respectively.
Newsmen report that both players were crowned at a star-studded ceremony in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in Egypt on Tuesday.
Mané won the award for the first time after beating club teammate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Also, Oshoala was named as women’s player of the year for a record fourth time.
The Senegal forward received his award from four-time winner Samuel Eto’o at the ceremony which was also attended by former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, although Salah was not in attendance.
Having finished as runner-up to the Egypt forward for the last two years, Mané becomes the second Senegalese to win the award, after another Liverpool player, El Hadji-Diouf, in 2001 and 2002.
Mane was Senegal’s main man at the 2019 AFCON where he netted three goals on the Teranga Lions’ path to the final match where they lost by a solitary goal to Algeria.
He netted a brace in the 3-0 group phase victory over Kenya and added one more in the round of 16 1-0 win over Uganda.
He was also a vital part of the team as they beat Benin and Tunisia in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, his influence playing a big role in Senegal’s run to the final.
“To be honest I will prefer to be playing football than speaking in front of so many people,” said Mané.
“I’m really happy and really proud at the same time. I will like to thank my family, especially my uncle who is here today.
“It is a big day for me and I will love to thank all the Senegalese people who have been voting for me. I’m from a very small village called Bambali and I’m sure they are all watching me tonight.”
Oshoala, who scored in FC Barcelona Women’s Champions League final defeat to Lyon, was also delighted to be recognised.
“Grateful to be African Women’s Player of the year for the fourth time,” she wrote on Twitter.
“(I) thank God, my family, friends and fans for the support. Big shoutout to my club, my management, team mates at both national team and club level and of course thanks to @CAF_Online for the opportunity.”
Algeria were named as men’s team of the year, with Djamel Belmadi picking up the coaches’ award.
Cameroon, who were beaten by England at the Women’s World Cup last summer, were named women’s team of the year.
Mané had shared the English Premier League Golden Boot with Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a momentous season for African players in English football.
The 27-year-old has continued his good form into this season, having already scored 11 league goals in Liverpool’s brilliant start to the campaign.
The campaign has already seen them leading the table by 13 points from Leicester.
Mane also helped Liverpool to victory in the UEFA Champions League final in June, scoring 36 goals in total during 2019.
Full List of CAF Awards 2019 winners:
African Interclubs Player of the Year: Youcef Belaïli (Algeria & Esperance / Ahli Jeddah)
African Youth Player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
African Women’s National Team of the Year: Cameroon
African Men’s National Team of the Year: Algeria
Best African Goal of the Year: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
FIFPro Africa’s Best 11: Andre Onana; Serge Aurier, Joel Matip, Kalidou Koulibaly, Achraf Hakimi; Idrissa Gana Gueye, Riyad Mahrez, Hakim Ziyech; Mohamed Salah, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane
African Women’s Coach of the Year: Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
African Men’s Coach of the Year: Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Club President of the Year: Moise Katumbi (TP Mazembe)
African Women’s Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & FC Barcelona Women)
African Player of the Year: Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool).