Riyad Mahrez Algeria international named 2016 BBC African Player of the Year

Mahrez played a pivotal role for Leicester City as they won the 2016 Premier League title, the first in their 132-year history.

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Riyad Mahrez play Riyad Mahrez named 2016 BBC African Player of the Year (BBC)
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Algeria international Riyad Mahrez has been named the 2016 BBC African Player of Year following his remarkable achievement of leading Leicester City to their first Premier League title.

Mahrez played a pivotal role for Leicester City as they shockingly won the 2016 Premier League title, the first in their 132-year history.

Riyad Mahrez play Riyad Mahrez scored 17 goals and had 11 assists as Leicester City won the Premier League in 2016 (AFP/File)

 

The forward scored 17 goals and providing 11 assists for Leicester City and also picked up the PFA Player of the Year after his fantastic 2015/16 season.

Riyad Mahrez play Riyad Mahrez also won the 2016 PFA Player of the Year award, becoming the first African to win the trophy (PA)

 

On the international stage, he also helped Algeria to qualify for next month's Africa Cup of Nations, scoring two goals and having five assists in five games.

Riyad Mahrez play

Riyad Mahrez

(Albawaba)

ALSO READ: Mahrez makes FIFA best players' list

The 25-year-old forward was announced the winner of the award on Monday, December 12 beating the fellow Premier League stars, Sadio Mane of Senegal (Liverpool), Côte d’Ivoire’s Yaya Toure (Manchester City) and Ghana international Andre Ayew (West Ham).

Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) was also included on the shortlist.

BBC's Peter Okwoche announced Mahrez as the winner during a special presentation at the Leicester City training ground with Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri also present. 

Riyad Mahrez and Claudio Ranieri play Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri was present when Riyad Mahrez was presented with the award (Mark Harvey/BBC)

 

It means a lot, it's something big for African players so I am very happy, I am very proud,” the forward said.

“It's always good to receive awards and for African players, it's a huge honour. To all the fans, thank you very much. I just have to carry on and keep going with my football and see what I can do.”

Ranieri on Mahrez' win: "Fantastic, Riyad had a very fantastic season. Want to see him continue as fantastic player."

 

Also on Monday, Mahrez was announced as the seventh-highest finisher in Ballon d'Or voting and is also favourite to be named 2016 CAF Player of the year at the GLO-CAF Awards night holding in Abuja on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

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