Algerian international and Leicester City midfielder, Riyad Mahrez, was on Thursday night crowned 2016 African Player of the Year in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
He beat the Gabonese skipper and last year’s winner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Senegalese winger Sadio Mane to the continent’s top football award.
“It’s a huge honour to receive this award, I want to thank all my teammates, my family, Africa, and Nigeria as well,” Mahrez said.
It’s a huge honour to receive this award, I want to thank all my teammates, my family, Africa, and Nigeria as well.
Aubameyang sent a congratulatory tweet to Mahrez for winning the award. Many people reacted to the outcome of the awards on social media platform twitter.
Congrats to you riyadmahrez26.7 🙌🏽See you for this africa Cup 😜 https://t.co/vPmRA52rYv— Aubameyang P-E (@Aubameyang7) January 5, 2017
African ballon d'or … I thank everyone who supporte me around Africa and around the world . pic.twitter.com/iaTrvED7TW— Riyad Mahrez (@Mahrez22) January 6, 2017
African Player of the Year— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) January 5, 2017
1. Riyad MAHREZ (361 votes)
2. Pierre-E. AUBAMEYANG (313 votes)
3. Sadio MANE (186 votes) #GloCAFAwards2016
As usual, there were mixed reactions, some funny, some analytical and others downcast by the turn out. Below are a few of the reactions:
PE Aubameyang's luggage is lost so compared to Mahrez, he's had to take a “dress down” approach to tonight's African player of year awards. pic.twitter.com/eelbAFxpUs— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) January 5, 2017
What does this even Mean? Did mahrez not have a beta year? What did Aubameyang win? Mahrez was even ahead on Ballon dor list. Bro pls https://t.co/XwSNb9vNk0— Ezigbo (@Nkezigbo) January 6, 2017
Aubameyang lost his clothes before losing out on the African Player of the Year to Mahrez! pic.twitter.com/ipbLbBr10E— Omar Momani (@omomani) January 6, 2017
Aubameyang was classy in defeat&congratulated Mahrez.Different from a certain Ivorian player playing in Man City last year#GloCAFAwards2016— Lotfi Wada (@LotfiWada) January 5, 2017
Granted, Mahrez & Leicester's run was unforgettable, but #CAF is for whole of 2016 which Aubameyang clearly deserves.— BvB_Miami (@1909Miami) January 5, 2017
Aubameyang was consistent. Mane showed he could excel in a top club but what a season it was for Mahrez! #GloCAFAwards2016— samuel fifi bartels (@sammybartels) January 5, 2017
During the course of this year, Aubameyang for me has been the better player. Deserved it. But Mahrez title may have shaved it #KweseSports— Colin NOT Collins (@ColinUdoh) January 5, 2017
Below are the other awards presented on Thursday night at the Abuja International Conference Centre in Nigeria.
- African Player of the Year: Riyad Mahrez
- CAF Platinum Award: Muhammadu Buhari
- Football Leader of the Year: Manuel Lopes Nascimento
- African Player of the Year – Based in Africa: Denis Onyango
- Referee of the Year: Bakary Papa Gassama
- Women’s Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala
- 2016 Coach of the Year: Pitsoo Mosimane
- 2016 Youth Player of the Year: Alex Iwobi
- 2016 Most Promising Player of the Year: Kelechi Iheanacho
- Club of the Year: Memelodi Sundowns
- Women’s National Team of the Year: Nigeria
- National Team of the Year: Uganda