Leicester City and Algeria midfielder Riyad Mahrez has won the BBC African Footballer of the Year award, ahead of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andre Ayew.
Mahrez joined Leicester from Le Havre in 2014 for a paltry fee but has gone on to become a driving force in the Foxes’ success. The 25-year-old scored 17 goals and provided 11 assists as Leicester secured the Premier League title last term.
The midfielder has won 27 caps for his country and continues to be a key member of Georges Leekens’s national side. Mahrez’s exploits for Claudio Ranieri’s side also saw him crowned PFA Player of the Year and he has added another individual accolade to his trophy cabinet.
Mahrez beat off competition from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, West Ham front man Andre Ayew, Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to claim the prize.
“It means a lot because I’m African. It’s something big for an African player. I’m very happy and proud to receive it,” Mahrez said after being presented with the award.
“It’s always good to receive awards and it’s a huge honour – I just have to carry on.
“I think they are proud of me [in Algeria]. They should be happy today and I want to thank them and dedicate it to them,” he added.