» Sports » Football Focus: Liverpool's Mane is African Footballer of the Year

Football Focus: Liverpool's Mane is African Footballer of the Year

January 08, 2020 14:58 IST
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Senegal's Sadio Mane receives the men's player of the year award during the African Footballer of Year Awards at Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Senegal's Sadio Mane receives the men's player of the year award during the African Footballer of Year Awards at Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt, on Tuesday. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh /Reuters

Sadio Mane was named African Footballer of the Year for 2019 on Tuesday after winning the Champions League with Liverpool and leading Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Mane, 27, won the award for the first time after finishing runner-up to his Liverpool team mate Mohamed Salah of Egypt in 2017 and 2018. He was third in 2016.

He is only the second Senegalese to win the award after El Hadji Diouf, who was the winner in 2001 and after joining Liverpool in 2002.

"Football is my job, I love it. I am really happy and proud to win this award," Mane said.


"I would like to thank all the Senegalese people, they push always me. I must also thank my (Senegal) coach, Aliou Cisse and Liverpool, all my team mates there."

Mane finished ahead of Riyad Mahrez and Salah in a poll of national team coaches and captains, and was handed his award at the Confederation of African Football’s annual gala in Hurgada, Egypt.

It is the second successive year that the top three are all from English clubs and only the third time since the award was introduced that the leading trio all play in the same league.

In 1991, the top three all came from French clubs.

Mahrez, 28, captained Algeria to Africa Cup of Nations success in July and won the Premier League with Manchester City. He was African Footballer of the Year in 2016.

Sacking Conte cost Chelsea 26.6 million pounds

Sacking Italian manager Antonio Conte in July 2018 cost Chelsea 26.6 million pounds in compensation and legal fees, according to the Premier League club's accounts for the 2018-19 season.

Conte joined the West Londoners in 2016, and won the league in 2017, but was dismissed with 12 months to run on his contract.

Fellow-Italian Maurizio Sarri, his replacement, lasted a seas before moving to Juventus.

The accounts, published on the Companies House website, said exceptional items of 26.6 million pounds related to "changes in respect of the men's team management and coaching staff, together with associated legal costs."

Former Italy midfielder Conte is now coaching Serie A side Inter Milan.

Exceptional items in the previous year of 6.0 million related entirely to the buyback of retail, licensing and sponsorship rights.

The accounts also showed Chelsea received 247 million pounds of increased funding from Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich in the year covered.

"The company has received confirmation from its parent undertaking that sufficient funds will be provided to finance the business for the foreseeable future," the accounts added.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the firing of nine permanent managers in the Abramovich era had cost more than 90 million pounds.

The club made a loss of 96 million pounds after taxation, compared to a 60.1 million profit in 2017-18 and said this was due mainly to increased wages and salary costs as well as reduced profit on player sales.

Matchday income fell by 7.0 million and broadcasting income dropped by 4.0 million, with Chelsea playing in the Europa League last season compared to the previous year's more lucrative Champions League.

Mbappe tops list of estimated transfer values at 265m euros: study

Teams interested in signing Kylian Mbappe must be prepared to splash the cash for the prodigious Frenchman, with an algorithm estimating that the 21-year-old would cost a staggering 265 million euros ($296.14 million).

Paris St Germain's Neymar holds the record after his 2017 move from Barcelona for 222 million euros, considerably more than the 180 million euros the Ligue 1 champions paid Monaco after completing a permanent deal for Mbappe the next year.

According to an algorithm developed by the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory, Mbappe's value has sky-rocketed while 27-year-old Brazilian Neymar is now estimated to cost around 100 million euros.

England forward Raheem Sterling may be worth his weight in gold for Manchester City and the study confirmed he too would eclipse Neymar after being valued at 223 million euros.

Liverpool's Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah was third overall at an estimated value of 175 million euros while Lionel Messi (125 million euros) and Cristiano Ronaldo (80.3 million euros) were lower down in the list.

The study takes into account a player's performance for club and country, age, position, league of employment and economic level of the releasing club when estimating transfer values of players in Europe's 'Big Five' leagues.

As many as 11 players out of the top 20 with an estimated value of at least 100 million euros play for Premier League clubs, it added, with Tottenham Hotspur striker and England captain Harry Kane ranked sixth with a value of 150 million.

Liverpool have three of the costliest players in terms of playing positions, with goalkeeper Alisson estimated at 87 million euros, centre back Virgil van Dijk at 93 million euros and full back Trent Alexander-Arnold at 110 million euros.

Man Utd's Pogba in high spirits after successful ankle surgery

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba posted a series of bizarre videos on social media after undergoing ankle surgery on Tuesday before confirming the procedure had been successful.

Apparently still feeling the effects of the anaesthetic, Pogba posted videos on Instagram saying he was unsure if he was "high or sober" and that he was blessed to be alive, before talking about needing a haircut.

He later deleted the stories and replaced them with a shorter one in which he appeared less groggy.

"It's me I'm back. Everything went well. We have to keep the positive energy," the French World Cup winner said.

"You have to keep happy, so I'll put some music on and dance on one leg obviously... you know me you have to keep the smile."

Pogba, who has made only eight appearances in all competitions this season, has been repeatedly linked by British media with a move away from United but his agent Mino Raiola told Sky Sports last month that the midfielder would be staying at Old Trafford.

Pogba's recovery is expected to keep him out of action for up to four weeks. The 26-year-old was sidelined for three months earlier this season with another ankle injury.

United will host local rivals Manchester City in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals later on Tuesday.

Watford's Pereyra avoids ban after club win FA Cup red card appeal

Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra's red card in their 3-3 FA Cup third round draw against Tranmere Rovers has been overturned by the Football Association (FA), English soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.

Pereyra was shown a straight red card for what appeared to be an innocuous-looking tackle on Tranmere's Kieron Morris last Saturday, resulting in an automatic three-match suspension.

However, Watford were successful in their claim of wrongful dismissal and the 29-year-old Argentine will be available for selection starting with their Premier League clash against Bournemouth on Sunday.

Watford then face Tranmere at Prenton Park in a replay of their FA Cup clash later this month.

Drinkwater joins Aston Villa on loan to the end of season

Former England international Danny Drinkwater has joined relegation-threatened Aston Villa on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old midfielder, who won the league with outsiders Leicester City in 2016 and moved to Chelsea in 2017, spent the first half of the season on loan to Burnley after becoming surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

"Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title winning team and has represented England so he is a vastly experienced player," said Villa manager Dean Smith. "He will strengthen our squad significantly."

Villa are 17th in the league and one point above the relegation zone, with an injury-hit squad.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry is Smith's assistant and the West Londoners loaned their current top scorer Tammy Abraham to Villa last season.

Drinkwater has played three times for England, most recently in 2016. He made only two appearances for Burnley this season after damaging ankle ligaments in an altercation outside a nightclub.

The player was also charged with drink driving in April last year while at Chelsea and the club's then manager Maurizio Sarri said the midfielder had no future at the club as he was not suited to their style of play.

Tottenham's Sissoko undergoes knee surgery

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Sissoko has undergone knee surgery that could keep him out of action until April, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old France international sustained the injury to his right knee in Spurs' 1-0 league defeat at Southampton last week, a match in which striker Harry Kane tore his hamstring.

"Following a clinical assessment and scans, Moussa has today undergone surgery to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee," Tottenham said in a statement

"Our medical staff will monitor Moussa's recovery before he commences rehabilitation with a view to returning to training in early April."

Defeat by the Saints left Jose Mourinho's Tottenham sixth in the table with 30 points from 21 games ahead of Saturday's clash against league leaders Liverpool.

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