Bayern’s Sadio Mane wins his second consecutive African Player of the year award

Sadio Mane was awarded African Footballer of the Year on Thursday, following a season in which he scored the game-winning penalty for Senegal as they won their first Africa Cup of Nations title and repeated the feat when they qualified for the World Cup.

In the voting, Mane finished ahead of Egypt striker Mohamed Salah, his former Liverpool colleague, and fellow Senegalese Edouard Mendy.

The 30-year-old Mane, who joined German champions Bayern Munich last month, won the trophy for the second time.

He was the award’s most recent recipient in 2019. The Confederation of African Football did not keep it for the previous two years and has now shifted to recognizing achievements across the season rather than the calendar year.

Mane scored the game-winning penalty when Senegal defeated Egypt in the Cup of Nations final in Yaounde in February, establishing himself as the talisman as his country won its first African trophy.

Mane with Cup of Nations

Six weeks later, he scored the game-winning penalty kick as Senegal defeated Egypt in a penalty shootout to earn a spot in the World Cup finals in Qatar.

He overshadowed Salah on both occasions, despite the fact that the pair won the FA Cup and Carabao Cup with Liverpool and helped them reach the Champions League final, which they lost to Real Madrid.

Salah and Mane

In the 2019 poll, Mane finished ahead of Salah. Salah, 30, won the accolade in 2017 and 2018, with Mane coming in second both times.

“This prize is dedicated to Senegal’s youth. I’m extremely emotional and lack the words to convey how I’m feeling “After flying in from Washington D.C., where he scored in Bayern’s preseason friendly win over D.C. United on Wednesday, Mane told the audience at the CAF awards in Rabat.

Mendy, a Chelsea goalkeeper, was crowned the best goalkeeper in the world at FIFA’s 2021 award ceremony in January.

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