- Title: Algeria's Riyad Mahrez named African Footballer of the Year
- Date: 9th January 2017
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** LEICESTER CITY AND ALGERIA MIDFIELDER, RIYAD MAHREZ, ARRIVING AT CEREMONY LIVERPOOL AND SENEGAL FORWARD, SADIO MANE, ARRIVING FOR CEREMONY
- Embargoed: 24th January 2017 13:24
- Keywords: Riyad Mahrez soccer African Player of the Year Leicester City Algeria football African Nations Cup
- Location: ABUJA, NIGERIA AND LEICESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: ABUJA, NIGERIA AND LEICESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0025YD04LX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Algerian soccer player Riyad Mahrez was named African Footballer of the Year at a ceremony in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Mahrez, who plays for England's soccer team Leicester City and inspired their extraordinary Premier League title triumph last season, was chosen ahead of 2015 winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool's Sadio Mane.
In a poll of African national team coaches, technical directors and media experts, Mahrez received 361 votes, ahead of Aubameyang's 313 and Mane's 186 votes.
The result was announced at the annual Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards on Thursday (January 5).
The 25-year-old is the third Algerian international to win the award, since Lakhdar Belloumi in 1981 and Rabah Madjer in 1987.
"I want to thank everyone who came today for this award and it is a usual not to receive this award. I am very happy I'm very pleased. I want to thank all my team mates from Leicester and from Algeria, my managers and my president of the federation Algeria and I want to dedicate to my family and all the Africans, of course Algerian as well and all the people who support me everyday around Africa and around the world. Thank you," Mahrez said on receiving the award.
Mahrez has been one of the main reasons behind Leicester's phenomenal rise to the top of the English Premier League.
Last April, he was named English soccer's Professional Footballers Association Player of the Year, becoming the first African player to win the award.
Mahrez is set to play for Algeria in the African Nations Cup on Sunday (January 15). The tournament takes place in Gabon from January 14 to February 5.
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