Mane reacts to historic CAF triumph

African Football

An emotional Sadio Mane paid tribute to the village where he was born in Senegal upon receiving his first African Player of the Year title in the prestigious 2019 CAF awards.

Mané, 27, received the honour as the best player on the continent from four-time winner, Samuel Eto'o on Tuesday evening in Hurghada, Egypt.

Scroll through the gallery above to see all the winners at the 2019 CAF awards

His 36 goals, UEFA Champions League, Club World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final achievements was enough for him to pip Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and AFCON winning captain Riyad Mahrez.

And reflecting on a memorable 2019 for club and country, the soft-spoken Reds superstar showed his truly humble nature as he received his award at the glittering ceremony.

"To be honest I would prefer to be playing football than speaking in front of so many people," Mané said.

"I'm really happy and really proud at the same time. I would like to thank my family, especially my uncle who is here today.

"It is a big day for me. I don't really know how to say it but I would love to thank all the Senegalese people. They have been with me all the time and they push me to do better.

"Also the people from my village. I have come very far, Bambali is a very small village and I am sure they are watching on the tv. I am really happy and very proud to win this."

Mané became only the second Senegalese player to win the award after El Hadji Diouf, who lifted the honour in 2001 and 2002.

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