After beating out Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in a glamorous ceremony on Thursday in Rabat, Sadio Mane has been named the 2022 African Player of the Year. After El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, and Mohamed Salah, the Senegal international became the fifth African to win back-to-back African Player of the Year awards.
He is now two victories short of Eto’o and Toure, who both won the award a record four times and are now regarded as the best players on the continent. Mane had a fantastic 2021–22 season with Liverpool of the English elite division, helping them win the FA Cup and Carabao Cup and playing a significant part in their Uefa Champions League runners-up finish. Mane then left Liverpool for Bayern Munich in a €41 million (£35 million/$43 million) transfer. He scored five goals in the Champions League, two in the FA Cup, and 16 goals in the Premier League.
He contributed 33 goals and 5 assists in total throughout the time under review. On the international stage, Mane helped the Lions of Teranga win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations by converting the decisive penalty that eliminated Egypt at Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium, securing the victory after a 0-0 stalemate after 120 minutes. The 30-year-old had great play throughout the competition, scoring three goals and dishing out two assists to take home Player of the Competition honors. More importantly, the Bavarian’s contributions were crucial in assisting the West Africans, who defeated the Pharaohs over two legs, to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Qatar.
Elsewhere, Senegal and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pape Matar Sarr picked the Young Player of the Year award ahead of Hannibal Mejbri (Tunisia & Manchester United) and Karim Konate (Cote d’Ivoire & ASEC/RB Salzburg)
Men’s Awards in Full
Club of the Year (Men) – Wydad Athletic Club
Interclub Player of the Year (Men) – Mohamed El Shenawy (Egypt & Al Ahly)
Young Player of the Year (Men) – Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal & Tottenham Hotspur)
National Team of the Year (Men) – Senegal
Goal of the Year- Pape Ousmane Sakho (Senegal & Simba)
Coach of the Year – (Men) – Aliou Cisse (Senegal)