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Sadio Mane & Edouard Mendy scoop individual AFCON awards

Jamie Spencer
Sadio Mane was voted best player at AFCON 2021
Sadio Mane was voted best player at AFCON 2021 / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/GettyImages

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane won Man of the Competition at the Africa Cup of Nations, with Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy named best goalkeeper following their triumph with Senegal.

Victory over Egypt on penalties in the final saw Senegal crowned African champions for the first time, 20 years after their first final appearance in 2002 finished with penalty heart break. The Lions of Teranga were also losing finalists in 2019 but finally ended their long wait.

Mane scored three goals in the tournament, including a crucial group stage winner against Zimbabwe. He also stepped up to confidently convert the decisive penalty in the shootout, showing courage to do so after missing from the spot early in normal time.

Mendy, meanwhile, kept five clean sheets in seven games over the course of the tournament. He also saved a crucial late Egypt penalty in the shootout that directly set it up for Mane to then win it.

Both players received their individual trophies after the final alongside Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar, who was presented with an award as the tournament’s top scorer.

On Monday morning, Mane posted a picture of himself on social media with his winner’s medal round his neck, waking up with the AFCON trophy in bed next to him.

Mendy had also been active on social media, uploading footage of the celebrations in Senegal’s team hotel that had spilled out of rooms into the corridors.

Both players will be back in Premier League action for their respective clubs soon. Liverpool have their next fixture as soon as Thursday when they face Leicester, while Mendy has been named in Chelsea’s squad for the FIFA Club World Cup and will link up with the Blues shortly.

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