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8 Jan, 2020 09:59

Mane wins African Player of the Year as second-place Salah skips ceremony

Mane wins African Player of the Year as second-place Salah skips ceremony

Liverpool's Senegalese star Sadio Mane succeeded teammate Mohamed Salah by being named African Player of the Year 2019, as Salah missed out on his third crown, deciding to skip the ceremony to remain and train with the Reds.

Mane, 27, adds African football's top individual honor to the Champions League medal he won at the end of last season and the runners-up medal he won as part of Senegal's march to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, becoming the second Senegalese to claim the trophy following El Hadji Diouf's wins in 2001 and 2002. 

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The forward wins the award after finishing twice in the second placed spot behind Salah in 2017 and 2018. He finished in third position in 2016.

"Football is my job, I love it. I am really happy and proud to win this award," Mane said in acceptance of the award. 

"I would like to thank all the Senegalese people, they push always me. I must also thank my (Senegal) coach, Aliou Cisse and Liverpool, all my team mates there."

Mane was crowned as winner after a vote by coaches, technical directors and international team captains from the continent, with the win denying Salah what would have been a joint-record third win of the award. 

Salah opted to skip the ceremony, which took place in Hurghurda, Egypt, to take part in a training camp with Liverpool as they continue in their hunt for a first Premier League crown in three decades.

Speculation from the area in recent days has suggested that Salah's absence was linked to a supposed disagreement with the Egyptian FA, although this has been dismissed.

Salah congratulated his Liverpool Mane on the win, posting a picture of the awards ceremony on his Instagram account. 


Salah also posted an image of his daughter, captioning it "and the award for best federation goes to...." 

That may have been a cryptic nod to the Egyptian FA being named federation of the year at the ceremony.  

Elsewhere, Achraf Hakimi, the 21-year-old Moroccan on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid, was named as Young Player of the Year, while a host of Premier League stars such as Riyah Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Mane and Salah in the Team of the Year.