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Sadio Mane beats Salah, Mahrez to emerge African footballer of the year

Senegalese international, Sadio Mane has been 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.

Mane, 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 also came third in 2016.

Mane picked up 477 votes to Salah’s 325, with Manchester City winger Mahrez receiving 267 votes.

“To be honest I would love to be playing football more than speaking in front of many important people.

“It is a big day for me. I would love to thank all the Senegalese people. They pushed me. I’m from a very small village, Bambali, I’m sure they are all watching me on TV.” He said

A remarkable 2019 performance saw Mane score 32 goals in 53 appearances for Liverpool, who won the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup last year.

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

Meanwhile, Barcelona and Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala was named the African Women’s Player of the Year.

Cameroon picked up the Women’s Team of the Year award, with South Africa coach Desiree Ellis winning the Women’s Coach of the Year.

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