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Liverpool and Senegal forward Sadio Mané crowned African footballer of the year

Liverpool's Sadio Mané
Liverpool's Sadio Mané AFP

Sadio Mané was named African Footballer of the Year for 2019 on Tuesday after winning the Champions League with Liverpool and leading Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

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Mané, 27, wins the award for the first time after finishing runner-up to his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah of Egypt in 2017 and 2018. He was third in 2016.

He is only the second Senegalese to win the award after El Hadji Diouf, who was the winner in 2001 and after joining Liverpool in 2002.

"Football is my job, I love it. I am really happy and proud to win this award," Mané said.

"I would like to thank all the Senegalese people, they push always me. I must also thank my (Senegal) coach, Aliou Cisse and Liverpool, all my team mates there."

Mané finished ahead of Riyad Mahrez and Salah in a poll of national team coaches and captains, and was handed his award at the Confederation of African Football’s annual gala in Hurgada, Egypt.

It is the second successive year that the top three are all from English clubs and only the third time since the award was introduced that the leading trio all play in the same league.

In 1991, the top three all came from French clubs.

Mahrez, 28, captained Algeria to Africa Cup of Nations success in July and won the Premier League with Manchester City. He was African Footballer of the Year in 2016.

Other male awards at the gala went to Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi, Algerian Youcef Belaili for African Interclubs Player of the Year and Algeria’s national team.

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

Female awardees included Nigerian Asisat Oshoala, South African coach Desiree Ellis, and Cameroon’s women national team.

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

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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