Algerian Forward Riyad Mahrez Named 2016 African Player Of The Year


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Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez was on Thursday named 2016 African player of the year at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

The Leicester City man got 361 votes beating Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (313 votes) and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane (186 votes) to the award.

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The votes were cast by the Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Football Associations affiliated to CAF.

Other who joined in the voting process include members of the CAF Media Committee, CAF Technical and Development Committee and a 20-member panel of experts.

African Player Of The Year

Mahrez is the first Algerian and North African to win the prestigious individual African football honor since its inception by CAF in 1992.

He played a pivotal role in Leicester City’s sensational win of the Premier League title in the 2015/16 campaign.

The 25-year-old enjoyed the most successful period of his career during that time in which he was awarded the PFA Player of the Year and the BBC’s African Footballer of the Year.

In the African Player of the Year award for players based in Africa, Ugandan goalie Denis Onyango wrote his name in African football folklore by becoming the first non-outfield player to win the award.

The 31-year-old, who helped Uganda qualify for the Cup of Nations for the first time in 39 years, tipped club-mate Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe and Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba.

For the women category, Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala was named Women’s Player of the Year for the second time in her career. She beat Cameroon’s Gabrielle Aboudi-Onguene and Ghana’s Elizabeth Addo.

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Arsenal and Nigeria’s 20-year-old forward Alex Iwobi scooped the Youth Player of the Year. The nephew of the legendary Nigerian playmaker Austin Jay-Jay Okocha enjoyed a breakout season last year with club and country and is now part of the first team set up.

Fellow countryman and Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho was named the most promising talent for the second time in his career.