Leicester City’s sensational winger, Algerian Riyad Mahrez was yesterday named the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Players’ Player of the Year, a remarkable and unprecedented feat by an African player. He becomes the first African to win the award.
Mahrez has had a brilliant season, scoring 17 goals and making 11 assists in 34 league games to take the Foxes to the brink of a dream title.
To bag the coveted award, Mahrez, shrugged off stiff competition from fellow Foxes, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante, Spurs striker Harry Kane, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, and West Ham United midfielder Dimitri Payet.
Winning the award is a remarkable achievement for a player who comes from humble beginnings and wasn’t given much of a chance owing to his lanky stature. In his early footballing years, Mahrez was thought to be too frail to make it as a top footballer, but he has overcome these challenges to achieve what no African player has accomplished before.
Other outstanding African players previously nominated for this award include Yaya Touré, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jay-Jay Okocha.
What they are saying about Mahrez on social media:
Congratulations to @Mahrez22 on winning the PFA player of the year award. He’s a magnificent footballer and an absolute joy to watch.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 24, 2016
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) April 24, 2016
Congrats to Riyad Mahrez on PFA Player of the Year. So deserved. And look again at the poise on his finish today. Not simple.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) April 24, 2016
— Jonny Rabin (@OfficialJonson) April 25, 2016