Algerian and Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez poses for a photo after being crowned African Footballer of the Year in Abuja, on January 5, 2017. Algerian and Leicester striker Riyad Mahrez has been crowned the CAF African best Footballer for 2016 and beating former best player and Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sehegalese striker Sadio Mane, for the continent's most prestigious individual award (Photo: AFP)
After winning the 2016 Africa player of the year award during the Glo-CAF ceremony award on Thursday in Abuja, Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez expressed his pleasure with the title, thanking his teammates in Leicester City and the Algerian national team for their support.
"It's an honour for me to win the trophy of the 2016 Africa Player of the Year so I thank all my teammates in Leicester City and the national team," Mahrez was quoted as saying on Algerian website elheddaf.
The Leicester winger won 361 votes ahead of last year's winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon (313 votes) and Senegal forward Sadio Mane (186 votes).
"I send this award to my family, all Africans as well as Algerians," the award-winner said.
Mahrez's win ends 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.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)