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Sadio Mane wins second African Player of the Year award

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Sadio Mane was named African Player of the Year for the second time in Rabat on Thursday. The Senegal forward first won the honor in 2019 while at Liverpool. The 30-year-old left the Premier League club last month after signing a three-year deal with Bayern Munich. “I am really honored and extremely happy to have received this award again,” Mane said. “Thank you to my coaches, my club and national team colleagues and the friends who stood by me through this difficult time.”

Mane is in the Moroccan capital to receive the prize after he dashed across the Atlantic after converting a penalty for his new club in a 6-2 pre-season friendly win over DC United in Washington on Wednesday. Were.

It was the second consecutive Continental Player of the Year award for Mane after the previous two editions were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He won ahead of former Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah from Egypt and fellow Senegalese international and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Mane and Salah played a key role last season with Liverpool, who won the FA Cup and the English League Cup and finished runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.

Salah has since signed a new contract at Anfield, while Mane opted for a move, with Bayern reportedly paying an initial 32 million euros ($32.5 million) that could increase to 41 million euros.

The transfer fee was a far cry from the four million euros Red Bull Salzburg paid to Metz in 2012 when Mane made his first move to Europe.

-decisive punishment –

In February, Mane converted a decisive fifth penalty to give Senegal their first Africa Cup title of Nations after a 4–2 shootout win over Egypt and a 0–0 finish in the final.

A month later, Mane was once again a shootout match-winner against Egypt, this time in the World Cup play-off near Dakar after a 1–1 aggregate stalemate.

Salah missed out on a penalty in the decider of the Cup of Nations, while he blew Egypt’s first kick wide in the play-offs that led to Senegal’s place at the World Cup in Qatar this November.

Born in a village about 400 kilometers (250 mi) from Dakar, Mane caught the attention of Metz, who played for the local second-tier club Generation Foot.

After increasing his reputation at Salzburg, Mane joined Southampton, where his exploits included a 176-second Premier League hat-trick against Aston Villa.

In mid-2016 Senegal signed for Liverpool and went on to form a formidable front three with Salah and Brazilian Roberto Firmino.

As Mane moved to Bayern, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “My only criticism of Sadio is that perhaps at times he alone doesn’t realize how good he is.”

Nigerian Asisat Oshoala beat compatriot Perpetua Nkovacha to win the female player of the year award for a record fifth time.

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The 27-year-old Barcelona forward was ruled out of the ongoing Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco due to injury.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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