Liverpool winger Sadio Mane won his first African Footballer of the Year award. He becomes the second Senegalese to win the award after El-Hadji Diouf who also played for Liverpool.
Mane beat Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez to the continent’s biggest individual soccer prize – both contenders were absent at the ceremony.
Congratulatory messages have been flowing since the announcement on Tuesday evening. From Senegal president Macky Sall and the Football Federation, through to current and former players, journalists and fans from across the world.
Samuel Eto’o who won the first award this decade (2010) was a co-host at the event. He congratulated Mane for the award stressing how persistent and consistent he had been with his performances over the last few seasons.
Mahrez despite being absent tweet congrats to Mane after he helped Man City beat Man United in a cup fixture. The Algerian skipper was on target as City won 3 – 1 at Old Trafford.
Mane was also named in the FIFPro Africa – CAF Team of the Year. The 2019 Awards held in Egyptian city of Hurghada was the final for the decade 2010 – 2019.
Liverpool used their social media handles to celebrate the victory of Mane and of Salah who also made the 2019 Team of the Year. The issue of Salah’s absence continues to generate talk on social media given that the two previous years he won, Mane was present despite losing out.
Nigeria international Asisat Oshoala, who plays for Barcelona, was voted as women’s player of the year. Mane has finished as runner-up to Salah the last two years, and was third in 2016 behind winner Mahrez.
— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) January 7, 2020
Congratulations to Sadio for his trophy well deserved 🙏🏼 and sorry I couldn't come but I had to start scoring for the 2020 trophy 😘😂 see you next year inch'Allah 🇩🇿 #CAFAwards2019 pic.twitter.com/AdomL38DoE
— Riyad Mahrez (@Mahrez22) January 7, 2020
An incredible 2019 for #SadioManeLoading...
Premier League Golden Boot #PFA Team of the Year
Champions League winner
Super Cup winner
Club World Cup winner
And now, African Player of the Year 🏆 pic.twitter.com/8K15y67hvg
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 7, 2020
Breakdown of Mane's acceptance speech
"Football is my job, I love it." Happy and proud to win, overwhelmed
– Family esp Uncle
– Egyptian people
– Coach Aliou Cisse, Teranga Lions
– Liverpool set up
– Senegalese people esp village of Bamballi#CAFAwards2019 https://t.co/wofL6h7MGv
— Alfa Shaban (@AlfaAfrican) January 7, 2020
— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) January 8, 2020
— Football Senegal (@FootballSenegal) January 7, 2020
Heureux et fier d'exprimer, au nom du peuple sénégalais, toute ma satisfaction et d'adresser mes chaleureuses félicitations à Sadio Mané pour le ballon d’or africain. Bravo encore pour ce merveilleux exploit qui mérite d'être magnifié et porté en exemple pour toute la jeunesse. pic.twitter.com/XjAZIPYQpD
— Macky Sall (@Macky_Sall) January 7, 2020