The Liverpool winger is the second Senegalese footballer to win the CAF award after El Hadji Diouf.
Yesterday, Senegalese footballer and Liverpool winger Sadio Mane was named the 2019 African Player of the Year at a ceremony held by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Hurghada, Egypt.
According to Aljazeera, Mane's award comes after he led Liverpool to victory in the UEFA Champions League and played a major role in placing Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final. The award is his first ever after losing out to Liverpool teammate and Egypt's Mohamed Salah in 2017 and 2018.
Speaking after his well-deserved win, Mane said, "I am really happy and at the same time I am really proud to win this award. It's a big day for me." He also went on to thank the people from his village in Bambali, Senegal for their continuous support saying, "I would love to thank all the Senegalese people. They have been for me all the time, they push me."
According to CAF statistics, Mane scored an impressive 34 goals and 12 assists in his 61 appearances last year. Additionally, he shared the 2018/2019Premier League Golden Boot award with Salah and Arsenal's Gabonese player, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang—the first time the award was shared by three players since 1998/1999. Mane was also shortlisted for the 2019 Ballon D'or alongside four other African players including Salah, Aubameyang, Algeria's Riyad Mahrez and Senegal's Kalidou Koulibaly.
Mane now becomes the second Senegalese footballer to win the award after El Hadji Diouf who won it back in 2001 and 2002.