Friday Dec 13, 2019. 08:00
Algeria head coach Djamel Belmadi has backed Riyad Mahrez to win the 2019 CAF African Player of the Year award.
The attacking midfielder played an instrumental role in helping Algeria clinch the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Egypt.
This is after Mahrez had helped his club, Manchester City lift the English Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup during the 2018/19 season.
Belmadi, who is a former Algeria international, spoke to La Provence [via DZ Foot].
“In the year of the Africa Cup of Nations, the award for Africa’s best player should go to a player who won it, like Riyad Mahrez,” Belmadi said.
“He scored in the competition and was decisive. For me, the Afcon must earn him the award.”
Mahrez has been named as one of the top 10 contenders for the accolade.
The left-footed attacker is alongside Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mane.
“One disadvantage for him is that he has less playing time than Mane for their clubs,” he added.
The award winner will be announced during the CAF Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 7 January 2020.