Senegalese Sadio Mané is the big favorite for the title of best African player of the year 2019, awarded Tuesday (18:00 GMT) at a ceremony organized by the African Football Confederation (CAF) in Hurghada, Egypt.
Fourth in the Ballon d’Or classification ahead of the Egyptian Mohamed Salah (5th) and the Algerian Riyad Mahrez (10th), the two other finalists, Mané (27) has the opportunity to become the first Senegalese player crowned best player African since El-Hadji Diouf (2002).
Salah was already crowned best African player in 2017 and 2018, while Mahrez won the title in 2016.
Teammates at Liverpool, Mané and Salah had a successful year with victories in the Champions League, European Super Cup and the Club World Cup. Only the Premier League escaped them … in favor of the third finalist, Riyad Mahrez.
Under Pep Guardiola in Manchester City, the Algerian attacking midfielder won everything in England (Championship, English Cup and League Cup) before shining with his selection.
Appointed captain of the Fennecs by coach Djamel Belmadi, Mahrez was one of the main architects of Algerian success at the CAN-2019, with the added bonus of a victory in the final over Senegal … by Sadio Mané.
The former Cameroonian glory Samuel Eto’o, winner of the prestigious prize four times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2010), will be the master of ceremonies for the 2019 edition, which will also reward the best African player of the year, the best coach or the best hope.