On Thursday, January 5, 2017, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) celebrated the best players on the continent in an event that was also poised to commemorate 25 years of rewarding African soccer talent.
Algerian striker, Riyadh Mahrez was crowned the 2016 African Player of the Year, having collected 361 of the votes in total.
Uganda’s goalkeeper, Dennis Onyango who also plays for the South African Club Mamelodi Sundowns carried home Africa’s 2016 African Player of the Year – Based in Africa award having garnered a total of 252 votes. It was at this very prestigious occasion that took place in the Nigerian city of Abuja that Onyango’s own Uganda Cranes was prized as the continent’s National Team of the Year.
The event that was co-hosted by Nollywood icon, Richard Mofi Damijo was also livened up by several interludes of performances from music legend Femi Kuti and contemporary acts like Diamond Platinumz who brought the entire auditorium to ultimate bliss as they relished on his sweet melodies as well as dance routines.
Among other entertainers were the iconic Yemi Alade, Flavour… to mention but a few.
Here is the full of the winners of the night;
African Player of the Year
- Riyad MAHREZ (Algeria & Leicester City) – 361 votes
- Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund) – 313 votes
- Sadio MANE (Senegal & Liverpool) – 186 votes
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa
- Denis ONYANGO (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns) – 252 votes
- Khama BILLIAT (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns) – 228 votes
- Rainford KALABA (Zambia & TP Mazembe) – 206 votes
Women’s player of the Year
Asisat OSHOALA (Nigeria & Arsenal Ladies)
Most Promising Talent
Kelechi IHEANACHO (Nigeria & Manchester City)
Youth Player of the Year
Alex IWOBI (Nigeria and Arsenal)
Coach of the Year
Pitso MOSIMANE (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Club of the Year
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
Referee of the Year
Bakary Papa GASSAMA (Gambia)
Football Leader of the Year
Manuel LOPES NASCIMENTO, President of Guinea Bissau Football Federation
Laurent POKOU – Former player of Cote d’Ivoire
Emilienne MBANGO – Former player of Cameroon
His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Africa Finest XI
Goalkeeper: Denis ONYANGO (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Serge AURIER (Cote d’Ivoire & Paris Saint-Germain), Aymen ABDENNOUR (Tunisia & Valencia), Eric BAILLY (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United), Joyce LOMALISA (DR Congo & AS Vita)
Midfielders: Khama BILLIAT (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Rainford KALABA (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Keegan DOLLY (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns),
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Sadio MANE (Senegal & Liverpool), Riyad MAHREZ (Algeria & Leicester City)
Aymen MATHLOUTHI (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel), Kalidou KOULIBALY (Senegal & Napoli), Salif COULIBALY (Mali & TP Mazembe), Islam SLIMANI (Algeria & Leicester City), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Kelechi IHEANACHO (Nigeria & Manchester City), Alex IWOBI (Nigeria and Arsenal)
Ugandans Immediately Reacted