Riyad Mahrez Named 2016 African Player Of The Year
Riyad Mahrez has been named as the 2016 African Player of the Year by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) at a gala event held in Abuja on Thursday night.
The Algerian striker for English Premier League champions Leicester City won the coveted individual prize at the expense of fellow nominees Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Gabon striker who plays for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga, and Senegalese winger Sadio Mane, who currently represents Liverpool in the Premier League.
Aubameyang was voted as the second best out of the three, while Mane took the third place on the podium.
Aubameyang was the 2015 winner of the accolade, beating four-time African Player of the Year Yaya Toure to the nod at the beginning of last year.
Mahrez is the African Player of the Year
Mahrez has therefore been confirmed as the 25th African Player of the Year, building on a highly successful year for his English club in which they beat 5000-1 odds to lift the Premier League title.
The stunning title-winning season saw a great contribution from the Algerian international, with 17 league goals bearing his signature.
The EPL victory allowed the Foxes to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, and Mahrez already has four goals for Leicester this season’s competition thus far.
His exploits in attack for Leicester secured him another individual award at the end of the 2015-16 season, as his fellow professionals voted him as the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.
He has now built on that recognition by writing his name in African soccer history with this award.
The individual honour serves as a major boost for the Fennec Foxes of Algeria ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as the team will be able to count on the services of the current African Player of the Year in their quest to be crowned champions of Africa.
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