History was made on Thursday, 5 January 2017 at the International Conference Centre in Abuja with the coronation of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez as African Player of the Year 2016 and Ugandan goalie, Denis Onyango as African Player of the Year – Based in Africa 2016.
Mahrez, 25, becomes the first Algerian and the maiden North African to win the prestigious individual honour in African football since its inception by the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) in 1992.
The playmaker, who played an influential role in the historic Premier League title triumph by English club, Leicester City, last season and Algeria’s qualification to the Total Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017, polled 361 votes to emerge winner in the polls.
He thus dethroned last year’s winner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon who garnered 313 votes, whilst Senegalese forward, Sadio Mane placed a distant third with 186 votes.
The winner was decided by votes from the Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, members of the CAF Media Committee, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a 20-member panel of experts.
For the African Player of the Year – Based in Africa, Onyango also wrote his name in African football folklore, by …