Sadio Mane was named African Footballer of the Year for the first time on Tuesday night.
He beat Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and Premier League rival Riyad Mahrez to scoop the award.
There’s no denying the Senegal forward deserves his award, after such a brilliant 2019 which saw him win the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup with his club.
On an individual level, he finished as the Premier League’s top scorer, was named in the Team of the Season and also came fourth in the Ballon d’Or.
Despite being so successful, Mane is renowned as one of the most humble footballers in the game and the speech he made after winning the African Footballer of the Year award proved that again.
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“To be honest I would prefer to be playing football than speaking in front of so many important people. My job, I love it” the forward said on Tuesday night.
“I’m really happy and really proud at the same time. I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle who is here today – and aswell my coach.
“[I’d also like to thank] my national teammates and the staff, Liverpool football club and my teammates.
“It is a big day for me and I would love to thank all the Senegalese people who have been voting for me. I’m from a very small village called Bambali and I’m sure they are all watching me tonight.
“Again, I’m really happy and very proud to win this.”
Check out his full speech below:
Brilliant. It’s hard not to love Mane and respect everything he’s achieved in the last few years.
Yet, 2020 could be even more successful than 2019 for him and Liverpool. The Reds are running away with the Premier League and are favourites to retain their Champions League crown.
If they do manage to win both competitions, Mane will no doubt play a massive role.