Riyad Mahrez Named BBC African Footballer of the Year
Riyad Mahrez has won the BBC African Footballer of the Year Award for 2016, after a memorable 12 months that saw him win the Premier League with English club Leicester City.
After the collation of votes from fans across the world, Mahrez pipped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure to the coveted prize.
And the 25-year-old Algerian winger has said he’s full of pride with his latest accomplishment, BBC Sport reports.
“It means a lot, it’s something big for African players so I am very happy, I am very proud,” he said.
“It’s always good to receive awards and for African players it’s a huge honour. To all the fans, thank you very much.
“Also I want to thank the Algeria fans and dedicate this to them as well and for my family.
“I just have to carry on and keep going with my football and see what I can do.”
The accolade completes a stellar 2016 for the player after he propelled the Foxes to an incredible Premier League triumph, scoring 17 goals and providing 11 assists to become the first African to win the PFA Player of the Year Award.
He also excelled on the international stage for Algeria to help them qualify for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations, delivering five assists and two goals in five appearances.
His achievements didn’t go unnoticed to world football’s world governing body, FIFA, who included him on its 23-man shortlist for Player of the Year Award.
Mahrez now joins a distinguished list of greats to have won the award including Abedi Pele, George Weah, Jay-Jay Okocha and Didier Drogba.
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