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Riyad Mahrez Wins BBC African Player of the Year

Algerian international Riyad Mahrez has been named BBC African Footballer of the year after an incredible 12 months which included helping Leicester City win their maiden Premier League title.

The 25-year-old Leicester City winger was announced on Monday Evening after fans across the world voted him ahead of Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and fellow premier league players Saido Mane, Yaya Toure, and Andre Ayew.

The announcement was made during BBC’s focus on Africa TV confirming the Desert foxes winger as the winner of the closely contested contest.

He was later officially announced by BBC’s Peter Okwoche at the club’s training ground who was joined by the Leicester Manager Claudio Ranieri to present the award.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the ceremony, an excited Mahrez said,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“It means a lot, it’s something big for African players so am very happy. Am very proud.”[/perfectpullquote]

“It’s always good to receive Awards and for African players it’s a huge honor. “

“To all the fans, thank you very much, I just have to carry on and keep going with my football and see what I can do.”

He concluded saying,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Also, I want to thank the Algerian fans and dedicate this to them as well as my family.”[/perfectpullquote]

Mahrez emerged as the most popular player from a public vote after his brilliant performances that helped Leicester City stun the football world to overcome an odd of 5000/1 put by most football pundits to win the Premier League.

The first time winner was a key figure in Leicester’s fairytale run last season scoring 17 goals and providing 11 assists in the process. He was also instrumental in Algeria’s African Cup of nations delivering five assist and scoring two in just five matches.

This has been an exceptional year for the winger who already won the PFA player of the year, making him the only African to win the award. He has also made the Ballon Dor shortlist, FIFA player of the year shortlist, UEFA team of the year shortlist and is one of the favorites to win African Player of the year.

Featured Photo: Riyad Mahrez. Courtesy of the BBC

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