Wednesday Jan 17, 2018. 17:00
Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam has been named the Algerian Player of the Year in a ceremony in Algiers.
After a vote undertaken by captains, managers and presidents of the country’s top flight football clubs, Ghoulam was elected as the top candidate.
He was handed his trophy by a fellow left-back and legend of the game, Italy’s Paolo Maldini.
"I am very happy to win the Algerian Ballon d'Or," said Ghoulam.
"I am also proud to represent defenders because we have a thankless role compared to forwards," added the left-back.
"It is also an honour for me to receive the trophy from Paolo Maldini who is a reference in my position as a left-back. He is also a reference given the lengthy career he had in Milan."
Ghoulam won the prize, which is organised by Le Buteur newspaper and local TV station El Heddaf, ahead of the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Yacine Brahimi.
The 26-year-old is regarded as Africa’s best left-back and played a strong role for both Napoli and the Algerian national team through 2017.
He is currently recovering from a serious knee injury he suffered in November last year.