Some social media judges, jury and panelists have frowned at the emergence of Leicester City and Algeria international winger Riyad Mahrez, as the 2016 CAF African best Player, with a case being made for 2015 winner – Dortmund and Gabonese striker Patrick Aubameyang.
The 25-year-old Mahrez earned 361 points ahead of Aubameyang’s 313 to emerge the winner of the prestigious award hands down, while Liverpool’s Senegalese forward Sadio Mane placed 3rd with 186 points.
The Confederation of African Football recognized countries had their coaches and national team captains vote for their choice players from a 10-man list, with 5 points going for the 1st place, 3 points for the 2nd and 1 for the 3rd. And the reason they voted for Mahrez isn’t farfetched from the history he made with Leicester City in 2015-16.
This season might have been poor for him and the team, but the 17 goals he notched last term has etched his name in the sands of time. Mahrez became the first ever African to win the PFA Player of the Year award, while also placing 7th in the voting for the 2016 Ballon d’Or.
The 2016 BBC African player of the year has made history, beating the odds of 5000-1 to do so. Aubameyang placed 11th in the Ballon d’Or voting after his 25 goals led Dortmund to a 2nd place finish in the Bundesliga.
The 27-year-old has been blistering form this term, scoring 16 goals in the German league and leading them to top of their Champions League group ahead of Real Madrid.
2016 was undeniably impressive for him no doubt, but the Bundesliga Player and Facebook FA Bundesliga Player of the Year neither broke nor set a record. He made no history.
For that reason, Mahrez was better and he clearly deserved to win the prize.
Take a bow Riyad Mahrez – the new king of African football!!!