In the eve of Tuesday January 7, playmakers, coaches, journalist and many who love the round leather game gathered for the 28th edition of CAF Awards 2019 in Egypt. The once in a year event is deigned to select the best among those who ply their trade in the football field, and that was done, honors were given to those to whom it’s due.
Sadio Mane’ of Liverpool has in the past season displayed the kind of playmaking that distinguished him from his contemporaries. The prodigy that earned him the fourth place in the Fifa ballon Do’r was not ignored by the Confederation of African Football, so that he was considered the best. He polled 477 votes ahead of his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, 325 votes and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, 267 votes.
The Senegalese was instrumental to Liverpool’s epic come back against Barcelona, and their subsequent win of the Champions League.
Another character in the game whose activities in the game caught the eye of the football body is Nigerian Asisat Oshoala, who plies her trade with FC Barcelona’s female team. She was crown the best female football in Africa.
Oshoala was named African Women’s Player of the Year for the fourth time, equalling the record of her compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha.
She garnered 351 votes, 30 more than Cameroonian forward Ajara Nchout and Thembi Kgatlana, who had 247 votes.
Her prowess in the field of play was convincing enough that FC Barcelona didn’t find it hard deciding to keep her after her trial at Camp Noun. And she has been genial with the Nigerian female national team, the Super Falcons.
There are others too, who although they didn’t win the best footballers, came first in other different categories. Below is the list of the winners and nominees.
African Interclubs Player of the Year: Youcef Belaïli (Algeria & Esperance / Ahli Jeddah)
1. Anice Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
2. Kodjo Fo Doh Laba (Togo & RS Berkane / Al Ain)
3. Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
4. Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)
5. Youcef Belaïli (Algeria & Esperance / Ahli Jeddah)
African Youth Player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
1. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
2. Krépin Diatta (Senegal & Club Brugge)
3. Moussa Djenepo (Mali & Southampton)
4. Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria & Villarreal)
5. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria & Lille)
African Women’s National Team of the Year: Cameroon
2. Côte d’Ivoire
4. South Africa
African Men’s National Team of the Year: Algeria
Best African Goal of the Year: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
FIFPro Africa’s Best 11:
Andre Onana; Serge Aurier, Joel Matip, Kalidou Koulibaly, Achraf Hakimi; Idrissa Gana Gueye, Riyad Mahrez, Hakim Ziyech; Mohamed Salah, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane*
African Women’s Coach of the Year: Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
1. Alain Djeumfa (Cameroon)
2. Bruce Mwape (Zambia)
3. Clementine Toure (Côte d’Ivoire)
4. Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
5. Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)
Men African Coach of the Year: Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Aliou Cisse (Senegal – Senegal)
2. Christian Gross (Switzerland – Zamalek)
3. Djamel Belmadi (Algeria – Algeria)
4. Moïne Chaâbani (Tunisia – Esperance)
5. Nicolas Dupuis (France – Madagascar)
African Women’s Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala
1. Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga)
2. Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona)
3. Gabrielle Ouguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moscow)
4. Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi & Jiangsu Suning)
5. Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC)
Player of the Year: Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
1. André Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)
2. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
3. Ismail Bennacer (Algeria & AC Milan)
4. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
5. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
6. Odion Ighalo (Nigeria & Shanghai Shenhua)
7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)
8. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
9. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
10. Youcef Belaili (Algeria & Ahli Jeddah
The Senegalese international Mane’ was believed to deserve better than he got in the Fifa Ballon Do’r, that even Lionel Messi called his fourth position “an injustice.” Nevertheless, the night came to an end with Mane’ getting what he deserved for his contribution to the beautiful game. And he didn’t fail to show appreciation.
“It’s a great day for me and for my career. I would like to thank all of the Senegalese people who supported me during my journey.
“I’m feeling happy because they will be glad watching me winning this award, especially the people in my village,” Mane’ said.