Senegal's Sadio Mane was crowned African Footballer of the Year for the second time running at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards ceremony in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.
Mane scored the winning penalty as Senegal beat Egypt in a shootout in this year's Africa Cup of Nations final to lift the trophy for the first time. The awards returned for the first time in three years after being suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, with Nigeria's, Asisat Oshoala, also retaining the title she won in 2019.
"I am very, very happy to receive the trophy this year. I thank the Senegalese people and dedicate this trophy to the youth of my country" Mane, 30, said as he collected his prize.
Mane beat compatriot and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as well as former Liverpool team-mate Salah, whose Egypt side lost February's AFCON final.
Mane enjoyed a superb 2021-22 season with Liverpool as he helped them win the FA Cup and Carabao Cup as well as played a crucial role in their UEFA Champions League runners-up finish.
It is the Senegal international's second African Player of the Year title as he becomes the fifth African after El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, and Salah to win the award in consecutive years since CAF took over the distribution of the award in 1992.
Long-standing Senegalese boss Aliou Cisse won coach of the year, with his side named men's team of the year, while Pape Sarr was named young player of the year and another Senegalese, Pape Ousmane Sakho, won best goal for his overhead kick for Tanzanian side Simba.
African and Moroccan champions Wydad Casablanca took the club of the year prize for the second time in a row, while Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, whose Nations Cup ended early because of injury, was named the interclub player of the year.
Mane has left Liverpool and opted for a move to Bayern for an initial fee of 32 million euros ($32.5 million) that could rise to 41 million euros. The transfer fee was a far cry from the four million euros Red Bull Salzburg paid Metz in 2012 when Mane made his first move in Europe.
Beyond football, Mane is a beacon of virtue as he is involved in a number of humanitarian endeavours in Senegal. He built a hospital and secondary school in his home village of Bambali. He also donated £41,000 to the Senegal government when the pandemic hit.