2016 may be over, but the awards keep rolling in for Leicester City. Winger/Magician Riyad Mahrez was named African Player of the Year by the Confederation of African Football.
Riyad Mahrez is the African Player of the Year, collecting 361 of the votes #GloCAFAwards2016 pic.twitter.com/12s7BMsGRc— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 5, 2017
He is the first Algerian to collect the award, after beating the current holder, Borussia Dortmund’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Senegalese forward Sadio Mané of Liverpool.
Mahrez ended the year with with 11 goals and 7 assists, but his best form probably came in late 2015. The award is as much a recognition of how important he was to the team, which lifted the league in May 2016, than it is of any individual brilliance over the year and I think its very much deserved.
He also wins the (fictional) award for best dressed finalist, although he did have a distinct advantage there.
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
Other England based players collected awards on the night, including Women’s Player of the year Asisat Oshoala and Youth Player of the Year Alex Iwobi, both of Arsenal, and Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho, who claimed the Most Promising Talent award.
The Foxes wil be without Mahrez until at least the end of the month, and possibly into February, as he joins up with the Algerian national team for the Africa Cup of Nations, where he will be joined by teammate Islam Slimani.
Daniel Amartey will also be involved in the tournament, but compatriot Jeff Schlupp, will stay with the Leicester, having been a surprise exclusion from the Ghanaian squad.