Football

Sadio Mane named African Footballer of the Year ahead of Salah and Mendy

The new Bayern Munich Striker, Sadio Mane has been crowned African Footballer of the Year for the second time. The 30-year-old Senegal international received the prestigious honour at an awards ceremony on Thursday. Mane, who joined Bayern earlier this summer, won the award ahead of former Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Sadio Mane scored 23 goals for Liverpool last season to help them win the FA Cup and EFL Cup. The Reds also reached the Champions League final – losing 1-0 to Real Madrid – and finished just a point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

At international level, Mane inspired Senegal to glory in the Africa Cup of Nations in February. He scored the winning spot-kick as his nation defeated Salah’s Egypt on penalties in the final. Mane scored three goals during the tournament, one more than Salah.

Sadio Mane

“Congratulations to Sadio Mane on once again being named Africa’s Player of the Year,” said Bayern president Herbert Hainer. “He’s an absolutely exceptional player and above all a great person, who’s a wonderful ambassador for his homeland Senegal, for the whole of football, as well as for FC Bayern and the whole Bundesliga.”

Bayern CEO Oliver Khan added: “We’re delighted about Sadio Mane’s award. FC Bayern has never before in its long history had an African Player of the Year in its ranks. This is a special honour for our club. We’re very proud that he now plays for this club and we have a lot of big goals with him.”

The African Footballer of the Year prize has been awarded by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 1992. An alternative version of the gong was previously awarded by France Football – the organisers of the Ballon d’Or – between 1970 and 1994.

Salah previously won the illustrious prize in 2017 and 2018. The award was last handed out in 2019 as Mane claimed the honour. Previous winners include Riyad Mahrez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Yaya Toure, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and George Weah.

Nigeria international Asisat Oshoala scooped the women’s award after helping Barcelona defender their league title, while Tottenham teenager Pape Matar Sarr – who was part of Senegal’s AFCON-winning squad – took home the men’s Young Player of the Year prize.

Source – Mirror

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