Sadio Mane, a Senegalese striker, received the African Player of the Year award in 2019.
He defeats Liverpool’s teammate Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City to win the award at Tuesday’s annual awards ceremony in Hurghada.
Mane was a finalist in the previous three editions of the CAF Player of the Year, but he never returned home with the coveted piece of silverware in all these cases.
Mane was Senegal’s main man at the 2019 AFCON, where he scored three goals on the Teranga Lions ‘ road to the final, beating Algeria by a solitary point. In the 3-0 group stage victory over Kenya, he scored a brace and added another in the 16 1-0 win over Uganda.
He was also a crucial part of the team, defeating Benin and Tunisia in the quarters and semis respectively, playing a major role in Senegal’s final run.
Mane was just as impressive for his Liverpool club as he was for Senegal as he played another crucial role in helping them to capture the UEFA Champions League title for the first time since 2005.
The forward scored crucial goals, including a double over Bayern Munich in a 3-1 victory in the 16th round and a one-time triumph over Porto in the quarter-finals as the Reds steamrolled into the final and eventually bagged the title of the Champions League.
Mane shared the Golden Boot title with Salah and Arsenal’s Gabonese front in the English Premier League, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, all three netting 22 times for their respective clubs. In addition, Mane scored 39 goals in the 2018-2019 season across all Liverpool competitions.
The forward held its shape in the new campaign and in the season-opening UEFA Super Cup, Mane scored twice with Chelsea in a 2-2 draw, a game they finally won 5-4 penalties to pick up another trophy.
At the end of the FIFA Club World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Mane provided the assist for Roberto Firmino’s winning goal against Flamengo in the final. Also in the top five for the Ballon d’Or was the Senegalese hitman, a title ultimately won by Lionel Messi.
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