Liverpool and Senegalese star, Sadio Mane was on Tuesday night crowned the CAF African Footballer of the Year at a colourful CAF Awards ceremony held at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt.
Mane beat fellow Liverpool team-mate, Mohamed Salah and Manchester City star, Riyad Mahrez of Algeria to win the crown for the first time.
Mane was instrumental in last year’s Champions League victory by Liverpool where the Reds defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 courtesy of goals from Mohamed Salah and Belgian’s Divock Origi in the final.
Mane who polls 477 votes to Salah’s 325 and Mahrez’s 267 votes thanked everyone who had supported his carrer.
“To be honest I would love to be playing football more than speaking in front of many important people,” said Mane.
“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.
“Football is my job – I love it. I’m really happy and really proud at the same time to win this award.
“I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle who is here today, and my national and Liverpool team-mates, staff, everybody. It is a big day for me. ” he said.
Mane scored 32 goals in 53 appearances for Liverpool in 2019 and also led Senegal to the final of 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, where they lost to Algeria.