|Africa's finest... Riyad Mahrez|
Algeria star Riyad Mahrez was named the 2016 African Player of the Year at the CAF Awards held on Thursday night in Abuja, Nigeria. The Leicester City winger beat out strong competition from Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Senegal’s Sadio Mane to the win accolade and became the first Algerian to lift the award in the process.
Mahrez claimed the honour after a magical year with Leicester City in which he helped inspire the club to an improbable English Premier League victory.
South Africa club side Mamelodi Sundowns also had a night to remember as they collected three awards.
The Brazilians were named the Club of the Year after a magnificent 2016 where the side won South Africa’s Premier Soccer League with a record 71 points haul before lifting the CAF Champions League and then becoming the first South African club to take part in the Fifa Club World Cup.
Pitso Mosimane was also named the Coach of the Year award while Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango completed the hat-trick by winning the Best Player Based in Africa award.
Onyango won the award ahead of club-mate Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe and Zambian captain Rainford Kalaba who won the 2016 CAF Confederation Cup with TP Mazembe.
There were more celebrations for Onyango as he watched his country Uganda take home the National Team of the Year award. The triumph was a reward for Uganda’s achievement of qualifying for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, their first qualification in almost 40 years. The inspirational Onyango played a key role in Uganda’s success just as he did in Sundowns’ run to the Champions League title.
In other awards, Arsenal’s Nigeria starlet Alex Iwobi beat Eric Ayiah (Charity FC, Ghana) and Sandra Owusu-Ansah (Supreme Ladies, Ghana) to the 2016 African Youth Player of the Year accolade while Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho was named Africa’s Most Promising Talent.
The 20-year-old pipped Naby Keita (RB Leipzig) and Elia Meschak (TP Mazembe) to the award.
|It was a brilliant 2016 for Denis Onyango...|
CAF African Team of the Year
Goalkeeper: Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Cote D’Ivoire & Paris Saint-Germain), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia & Valencia), Eric Bailly (Cote D’Ivoire & Manchester United), Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & As Vita)
Midfielders: Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns),
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile Du Sahel), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli), Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe), Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)
Here are all the winners from the 2016 Glo-CAF Awards:
African Player of the Year
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Leicester City)
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa
Denis Onyango (Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Arsenal Ladies)
Most Promising Talent
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria and Manchester City)
Youth Player of the Year
Alex Iwobi (Nigeria and Arsenal)
Coach of the Year
Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Club of the Year
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
Referee of the Year
Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia)