Liverpool's Sadio Mane has been named the Confederation of African Football's (Caf) Player of the Year.

The Senegal forward beat Liverpool team-mate and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez to the award.

Mane, 27, helped the Reds to the 2018-19 Champions League title, scoring 30 goals in all competitions last season.

He has scored 15 goals so far in 2019-20, with Liverpool 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane named Caf African Player of the Year

"I'm really happy and proud to win this. Football is my job, I love it," said Mane.

"I would like to thank my family, my national team, staff, the federation and Liverpool Football Club. It's a big day for me."

Mane collected his award at a ceremony in Hurghada, Egypt but neither Salah, who had won the award in both the past two years, nor Mahrez were present.


Mane has finished in the award's top three for the last three years, and has long targeted the prize in order to emulate the achievement of one of his heroes, former Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf, who won it in 2002.

WIKI:

Sadio Mané is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the Senegal national team. He is widely considered as one of the best players in the world.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane named Caf African Player of the Year

On 14 August 2019, Mané scored twice in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea in a match that Liverpool won 5–4 on penalties after the game had finished 2–2 after 120 minutes. Mané was named man of the match.

Exactly one month later, he scored twice in a 3–1 win over Newcastle United and extended his record run of matches without defeat for Liverpool at Anfield to 50 matches, a league record by any player at a particular stadium. On his 100th Premier League appearance for Liverpool on 5 October, Mané scored his 50th league goal for the club in a 2–1 win over Leicester City.

On 21 October, Mané was named in the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or. On 2 December he finished in fourth place for the award, behind Lionel Messi, Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Two days later, he scored once and assisted two more goals as Liverpool beat Everton 5–2 in the Merseyside derby to extend their unbeaten run in league football to 32 matches, which was a new club record. Later that month, Liverpool won the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, with Mané setting up the winning goal scored by Firmino in the final against Flamengo.

On 7 January 2020, Mané won the CAF African Player of the year Award. He is only the second Senegalese after El Hadji Diouf to have won this award.

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