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Sadio Mane, Oshoala named Africa’s best players

Sadio Mane and Asisat Oshoala pose with CAF boss Patrice Motsepe
  • Sadio mane won the award in 2019
  • He becomes only the second Senegalese to win two awards
  • Oshoala became the first woman to win the crown five times

For the second consecutive time, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala were named the 2022 CAF Men and Women’s player of the year, at the Awards ceremony hosted in Rabat, Morocco on Thursday night.

Mane clinched the award ahead of his former Liverpool teammate Mo Salah and national teammate Edouard Mendy.

His silverware saw him become only the second Senegalese player after El Hadji Diouf to win the coveted award twice.

“I am really honoured and highly delighted to receive this award again. Thanks to my coaches, my club and national team colleagues and those friends who stood by me during difficult times,” Mane said after picking the award.

Mane had arrived in Morocco just hours earlier from the United States where he is on pre-season tour with his new club Bayern Munich. He scored on his debut on Wednesday evening.

The forward enjoyed a superbly successful season with Senegal, playing a vital role as they clinched the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in their history.

Mane scored thrice for the Lions of Teranga in Cameroon, and slotted home the title winning penalty in the final against Egypt.

His successes with Senegal did not end there as he played an equally pivotal role as they booked a place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The striker scored the winning penalty that sailed them through in the final qualifier against Egypt.

This year, Mane has picked up from where he stopped and is currently the top scorer in the qualifiers for the 2023 AFCON, having scored four goals in two matches.

Oshoala wins record fifth title

Asisat Oshoala

Asisat Oshoala poses with the women’s player of the year award

Meanwhile, Nigerian poster girl Oshoala won the award for a record fifth time.

She has been on an equally massively successful year, despite grappling with the disappointment of seeing her TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign cut short after just one match due to injury.

She helped Nigeria qualify for this year’s tournament in Morocco, though their hunt for a record extending 10th continental crown was halted by the hosts in the semis.

The striker earned her stripes in the books of history this year when she became the first African woman to ever win the Pichichi award for the top scorer in the Spanish Women’s League, despite missing four months with injury.

She scored 20 goals for her club FC Barcelona Femeni as the also won three titles; the Spanish Primera title, the Copa de la Reina and the Supercopa Espana.

Oshoala beat off competition from Cameroonian Ajara Nchout Njoya who misses out on the top award for the second time as well as Zambian skipper Grace Chanda who was named in the final three for the first time ever.

Cisse named coach of the year

Aliou Cisse

Aliou Cisse picking up the coach of the year award

While Mane clinched the top players’ award, his national team tactician Aliou Cisse was named coach of the year after his successes in leading the Teranga Lions to the first ever AFCON title as well as qualification to the World Cup.

Cisse missed out on the AFCON title as captain in 2002, but made amends 20 years later.

For the award, he finished ahead of Egypt’s former coach Carlos Queiroz as well as Wydad Athletic Club’s Walid Regragui who won the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League in his first season in charge of the Moroccan giants.

South Africa’s Desiree Ellis was meanwhile named women’s coach of the year after leading the Banyana Banyana to their second consecutive Women’s Cup of Nations final.

The long-serving Banyana coach emerged top ahead of Morocco’s Reynald Pedros who has also led the Atlas Lionesses to the Women’s Cup of Nations final and FIFA World Cup.

Also shortlisted was Zambia’s Bruce Mwape and Jerry Shabalala of Mamelodi Sundowns women, having led them to the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League title.

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