SADIO MANE named Africa's best of 2019: The Liverpool star beat competition from club teammate Salah, and City midfielder Mahrez.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane was crowned this last Tuesday as Africa's 2019 Player of the Year for the first time at an awards gala in Egypt.

The 27-year Senegalese striker was up against his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian who won the award the last two years, and Algerian Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City.

''I am really happy and at the same time I am really proud to win this award,'' said Mane at the ceremony organised by the Confederation of African Football in the Egyptian Red Sea of Hurghada. ''It's a bog day for me.''

Mane became the second star from Senegal to be named African Player of the Year after EI Hadji Diouf, who was the continent's best player in 2001 and 2002.

He scored 34 goals and produced 12 assists in 61 appearances in 2019, according to CAF statistics.

Salah's tally stood at 26 goals and 10 assists in 55 matches while Mahrez accounted for 14 goals and 18 assists in 48 games last year.

The key Senegalese player shared the 2018/19 Premier Golden Boot award with Salah and Arsenal's  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Gabon.

''I would love to thank all the Senegalese people. They have been for me all the time, they push me,'' said Mane, extending sincere gratitude to people from his village Bambali.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino as well as former Argentinean player Juan Sebastian Veron and Brazil's Cafu attended Tuesday's event.

Some of Africa's former star players including Senegal's Diouf, Egypt's Ahmed Hassan and Algeria's Rabah Madjer were also at the ceremony. [AFP]


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