Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez was honored on Thursday evening in Abuja, Nigeria with the Confederation of African Football’s player of the year award.
The award caps off an incredible 2016 for the Algerian international. Mahrez was also named PFA Player of the Year and BBC African Footballer of the Year on top of aiding his side towards one of the most incredible feats in sports history.
Mahrez was a key factor for Leicester last season as they incredibly defied a 5,000-1 shot to win the English Premier League title. With 17 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League last season, Mahrez helped lead the underdogs past teams like Manchester United and Chelsea on their way towards the trophy.
Borussia Dortmund and Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished just behind Mahrez in the voting while Liverpool and Senegal winger Sadio Mane came in third.
“It’s never easy to win a big award like that,” said Mahrez. “I’m very happy to win because obviously it was against two big players.”
With the award Mahrez becomes the first Algerian and North African to receive the prestigious award since its birth in 1992.
The night didn’t just belong to Mahrez. Other awards were dished out as well.
Arsenal and Nigeria’s 20-year-old talent Alex Iwobi won the young player award while fellow countryman and Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho received the most promising talent award.
Other awards on the night included Africa-based player of the year, won by South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango, and female player of the year, received by Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala.