London, January 8: Sadio Mane has beaten Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez to the CAF African Player of the Year award for 2019.
Mane was a standout player as Liverpool went all the way in the 2018-19 Champions League, while he has also enjoyed a strong start to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.
The Senegal international placed in the top three in each of the previous three years, finishing runner-up to Salah in 2017 and 2018, and third in 2016, when Mahrez came first.
"Football is my job, I love it. I am really happy and proud to win this award," Mane said.
An incredible 2019 for #SadioMane— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 7, 2020
Premier League Golden Boot #PFA Team of the Year
Champions League winner
Super Cup winner
Club World Cup winner
And now, African Player of the Year 🏆 pic.twitter.com/8K15y67hvg
"I would like to thank all the Senegalese people, they push always me. I must also thank my (Senegal) coach, Aliou Cisse and Liverpool, all my team-mates there."
Mane finished ahead of Riyad Mahrez and Salah in a poll of national team coaches and captains, and was handed his award at the Confederation of African Football's annual gala in Hurgada, Egypt.
It is the second successive year that the top three are all from English clubs and only the third time since the award was introduced that the leading trio all play in the same league.
In 1991, the top three all came from French clubs.
(With inputs from Agencies)