Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has been named African Footballer of the Year for the first time in his career after beating his teammate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
The Senegal forward received his award from the four-time winner Samuel Eto’o at a star-studded ceremony in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in Egypt.
Having finished as runner-up to Mohammed Salah for the last two years, Mané becomes the second Senegalese to win the award after another Liverpool player, El Hadji-Diouf, in 2001 and 2002.
“To be honest I would prefer to be playing football than speaking in front of so many people.
“I’m really happy and really proud at the same time. I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle who is here today. It is a big day for me and I would love to thank all the Senegalese people who have been voting for me. I’m from a very small village called Bambali and I’m sure they are all watching me tonight.”