It is a consolation prize for Sadio Mané. Fourth in the ranking of the last Golden Ball, the Senegalese striker Sadio Mané was awarded the title of best African player of 2019 awarded during a ceremony in Hurghada (Egypt).
The 27-year-old Liverpool player is ahead of his Egyptian teammate Mohammed Salah, who had won the two previous editions, and the Algerian Riyad Mahrez, captain and one of the main architects of the Fennecs' victory in the African Cup nation s. It is the first time that Mané has won this award. The last sacred Senegalese was El-Hadji Diouf, in 2002.
Sadio Mané had a successful year, both with the Reds (victories in the Champions League and the Club World Cup) and with his selection, beaten in the CAN final. With 22 goals, he also finished also top scorer in the Premier League, tied with Salah and the Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Idrissa Gueye in the typical team
Riyad Mahrez will be able to console himself a little with the price of the best goal of the year, for his free kick in the skylight which offered the qualification in the final of the CAN to Algeria in the very last moments of the match against Nigeria. His country was also crowned best African team of the year, and his coach, Djamel Belmadi, was also awarded.
@ Mahrez22's saving free kick against Nigeria in the CAN semi-final has just been voted African goal of the year!
We put it back for fun 😍pic.twitter.com / LstuodW7hj
Mahrez is however the only Algerian player in the typical African team of the year, which includes Aubameyang, the Senegalese of PSG Idrissa Gueye or the defender of Cameroon and Liverpool Joël Matip.
Nigerian Asisat Oshoala was crowned best African player. The Barcelona striker reached the Champions League final and helped Nigeria get out of the pools at the 2019 World Cup in France, which ended in elimination in the round of 16. The second African team that came out of the pools, Cameroon, won the prize for the best team of the year.