Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez has been crowned African Footballer of the Year for 2016 just as Nigeria Super Falcon’s star, Asisat Oshoala won the African Women’s Player of the Year award.
Mahrez won the award ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Saido Mane at the just concluded 2016 Glo/CAF awards gala that was held in Abuja on Thursday.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) title made it a hat-trick of wins for the 25-year-old, who has already been named PFA players’ player of the year and BBC African player of the year.
Last year’s winner, Aubameyang, finshes in 2nd place with 313 votes while Riyad Mahrez won by collecting 361 of the votes.
The CAF award ceremony — Africa’s most prestigious and now in its 25th year — took place in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Thursday.
He played in all but one of the Foxes’ games in 2015-16 and scored 17 goals.
The slightly-built, right-sided forwarded also had humble beginnings, starting out with hometown club AAS Sarcelles in 2004.
Mahrez winning ended a 19-year absence on the podium for a player from north Africa since Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji in 1998.
Other Algerians to have won are Rabah Madjer in 1987 and Lakhdar Belloumi in 1981.
Oshoala, the Arsenal Ladies star grabbed her second African Women’s Player of the Year award on the back of her goals as Nigeria retained their continental crown in Cameroon. She won her first when she also helped the Super Falcons emerge African champions in 2014.
Nigeria youngsters Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi won the Most Promising Talent and Youth Player of the Year awards, respectively.
Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama won the Best Referee Award for the third straight year.