The Senegal forward is crowned African Player of the Year after helping his country win the first AFCON title.
Sadio Mane has been named African Footballer of the Year after a season in which he scored the winning penalty for Senegal as they won their first Africa Cup of Nations title and repeated the feat when they qualified for the World Cup.
The 30-year-old forward, who recently signed a three-year contract with German giants Bayern Munich, won the award for the first time in 2019 while playing for English club Liverpool.
“I am truly honored and overjoyed to be receiving this award again,” Mane said on Thursday. “Many thanks to my coaches, club and national team teammates, and friends who supported me during difficult times.”
“I dedicate this award to Senegal’s youth.” “I’m very emotional and don’t know how to express how I feel,” he added.
Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria won the Women’s Player of the Year award for the fifth time, surpassing compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha.
Due to an injury, the 27-year-old Barcelona forward has been forced to miss the ongoing Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
There were musical performances by Nigerian star Tiwa Savage and Ivorian supergroup Magic System at the event, which was hosted by Cameroonian actress and presenter Sophy Aiida and Moroccan journalist Jalal Bouzrara.
Mane was in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, to receive the award after a dash across the Atlantic having converted a penalty for his new club in a 6-2 pre-season friendly win over DC United in Washington on Wednesday.
He won ahead of former Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah from Egypt and fellow Senegal international and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Mane and Salah played pivotal roles last season with Liverpool, who lifted the FA Cup and English League Cup and finished runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.
Salah has since signed a new contract at Anfield while Mane opted for a move, with Bayern reportedly paying an initial 32 million euros ($32.5m) that could rise to 41 million euros ($41.7m).
In February, Mane converted the decisive fifth penalty to give Senegal a 4-2 shoot-out victory over Egypt and a first Africa Cup of Nations title after the final ended 0-0 in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital.
A month later, Mane was once again the shoot-out match-winner against Egypt, this time in a World Cup playoff near Senegal’s capital, Dakar, after a 1-1 aggregate impasse.
Mane, who was born in a village nearly 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Dakar, drew Metz’s attention after playing for local second-tier club Generation Foot.
After establishing himself at Salzburg, Mane moved to Southampton, where he set a Premier League record by scoring a hat-trick in 176 seconds against Aston Villa.
The Senegalese joined Liverpool in mid-2016 and went on to form a fearsome front three with Salah and Brazilian Roberto Firmino.
As Mane moved to Bayern, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “My only criticism of Sadio is that maybe at times he is the only one not to realise just how good he is.”
Player of the Year: Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Club Player of the Year: Mohamed el Shenawy (Al Ahly/Egypt)
Young Player of the Year: Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal)
Coach of the Year: Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
National Team of the Year: Senegal
Club of the Year: Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)
Goal of the Year: Pape Ousmane Sakho (Senegal, Simba/TAN)
Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria)
Club Player of the Year: Evelyn Badu (Avaldsnes/Norway, Ghana)
Young Player of the Year: Badu
Coach of the Year: Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
Club of the Year: Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
National Team of the Year: To be announced after Cup of Nations final between Morocco and South Africa in Rabat on Saturday