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It’s mane! African football player of the year

Sadio Mane has won African Footballer of the Year for 2022, rain blows on competition from former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy at Thursday’s CAF awards.

Sardio Mane

The Bayern Munich neotric boy, who was also crowned the continent’s top player in 2019, helped Senegal win their first Africa Cup of Nations title in February, scoring the winning penalty to down Salah’s Egypt in the final.

The forward scored three goals throughout the competition in Cameroon, after which he was crowned Player of the Tournament.

One month later, Mane was influential in another shoot-out win over the Pharaohs, as Senegal sealed qualification for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

On the domestic front, meanwhile, Mane scored 23 goals in all competitions as Liverpool won the EFL and FA Cups during his final season at Anfield.

Mane made 51 appearances across a mammoth 2021-22 campaign with the Reds, a tally only bettered by Jordan Henderson (57), Diogo Jota (55) and Allison (54).

Oliver Kahn, chief executive of Mane’s new employers Bayern, was the first to offer his congratulations to the 30-year-old, writing on Twitter: “We are very happy about Sadio Mane’s award.

“FC Bayern has never had an African Footballer of the Year in its ranks in its long history, which is a special honour for our club.

“We are very proud that he is now on the ball for our club and have many big goals with him.”

While Chelsea shot-stopper Mendy missed out on being crowned the continent’s best player, he could draw some consolation from Senegal’s clean sweep of awards.

The Lions of Teranga were named CAF’s team of the year, while boss Aliou Cisse won Coach of the Year and midfielder Pape Matar Sarr scooped the Young Player of the Year gong.

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