Senegal and Bayern Munich’s forward Sadio Mane has been crowned the the 2022 African Player of the Year in a ceremony in Morocco on Thursday.
He beat off competition from his former teammate at Liverpool, Mohamed Salah and his international teammate, Edouard Mendy of Chelsea FC.
It is Mane’s second African Player of the Year title as he becomes the fifth African after El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, and Salah to win the award in consecutive years since CAF took over the distribution of the award in 1992.
Mane had an incredible season both on the domestic scene with his former club Liverpool FC and on the international arena with Senegal.
He helped Liverpool win the FA Cup and Carabao cup as well as playing crucial role in their UEFA Champions League runners-up finish, and coming second in the English Premier League.
He scored 16 Premier League goals, two in the FA Cup and five in the Champions League. Overall, he accounted for 33 goals and five assists in the period in review.
On the international scene, Mane propelled the Lions of Teranga to win their maiden Africa Cup of Nations – scoring the crucial penalty that downed Egypt inside Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, locking up the victory after a 0-0 draw through 120 minutes.
The 30-year-old was impressive throughout the tournament, contributing three goals and two assists to win the Player of the Tournament.
His contributions were also key in helping the West Africans qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup after defeating Salah’s Pharaohs over two legs.
Midfielder Pape Matar Sarr of Tottenham Hotspur and Senegalese International picked up the Young Player of the Year award.
Mane’s national team coach, Aliou Cisse picked up the Coach of the Year award having led the Teranga Lions to AFCON glory.
Another Senegalese, Pape Ousmane Sakho was awarded goal of the year.
A men’s award ceremony dominated by Senegal saw the national team of Senegal being awarded the National Team of the Year (Men).
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur