…Oshoala Wins Record Fifth African Title, Mane Retains men’s Title

Nigeria and  Barcelona forward, Asisat Oshoala  retained the African women’s Footballer of the Year title yesterday .

The 27-year-old picked the award ahead of Ajara Nchout Njoya (Cameroon and Inter Milan) and Zambia international Grace Chanda (Zambia and BIIK Kazygurt). 

With this, she becomes the first African to win this prestigious title for a record five times, overtaking Perpetua Nkwocha who claimed the accolade on four occasions. 

The awards returned for the first time in three years after being suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, with  Oshoala also retaining the award she won in 2019.

“It’s a record-breaking night for me and I want to thank everyone that has been in one way or the other involved in my career. 

“My teammates at FC Barcelona and more importantly, the Super Falcons who had showed the whole world that they are still the best on the continent going by the performance they put up against the host, Morocco in the semi-final of WAFCON,” she said after she received the award. 

In the men’s category, Senegal’s Sadio Mane was crowned the African Footballer of the Year for the second time running at a Confederation of African Football (Caf) awards ceremony in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

Mane scored the winning penalty as Senegal beat Egypt in a shootout in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final to lift the trophy for the first time.

“I am very, very happy to receive the trophy this year,” Mane, 30, said as he collected his prize.

Mane beat compatriot and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as well as former Liverpool team-mate Salah, whose Egypt side lost February’s final.

“I thank the Senegalese people – and dedicate this trophy to the youth of my country,” Mane added.

Mane’s prize was one of five picked up by Senegal in a total of seven men’s categories after a night to remember for the West African nation.

Long-standing Senegalese boss Aliou Cisse won coach of the year, with his side named men’s team of the year, while Pape Sarr was named young player of the year and another Senegalese, Pape Ousmane Sakho, won best goal for his overhead kick for Tanzanian side Simba.

“We waited a long time for this Nations Cup,” said Augustin Senghor, the president of Senegal’s football federation. “We are a good example to all those teams who have not yet won (the tournament).”

Sarr, who appeared just once during Senegal’s historic Nations Cup triumph, won an award previously lifted by Salah himself after his season on loan with French side Metz, so edging out Red Bull Salzburg’s Ivorian Karim Konate and Manchester United’s Tunisian Hannibal Mejbri.

A host of African football legends such as Daniel Amokachi, Lucas Radebe, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Geremi Njitap and Senegalese duo El Hadji Diouf and Khalilou Fadiga – who celebrated on stage with Mane – were in attendance for the awards at the Mohamed VI complex.

African and Moroccan champions Wydad Casablanca took the club of the year prize for the second time in a row, while Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, whose Nations Cup ended early because of injury, was named the Interclub Player of the year.

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