Morocco's Sofiane Boufal named best African in France

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Lille and Morocco's Sofiane Boufal
Lille's Sofiane Boufal was injured playing on a synthetic surface at Lorient

Morocco and Lille midfielder Sofiane Boufal has been named best African player in France's Ligue 1.

The 22-year-old beat Algeria and Lyon's Rachid Ghezzal and Cheikh N'Doye of Senegal and Angers to win the Marc-Vivien Foe Trophy.

The annual award is named after the Cameroon international who died aged 28 of a heart attack in 2003.

Boufal succeeds last year's winner Andre Ayew of Ghana, who played for Marseille before joining Swansea.

He is the third Moroccan to win the prize and means a positive end to his season almost two weeks after a knee surgery ruled him out Lille's final two league games of the campaign against Guingamp and Saint-Etienne.

Previous winners of Marc-Vivien Foe Trophy:
2015: Andre Ayew (Ghana/Marseille)
2014: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria/Lille)
2013: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon/Saint-Étienne)
2012: Younès Belhanda (Morocco/Montpellier)
2011: Gervinho (Ivory Coast/Lille)
2010: Gervinho (Ivory Coast/Lille)
2009: Marouane Chamakh (Morocco/Bordeaux)

Boufal has been influential for Lille this season, scoring 11 goals and providing five assists to help them to sixth in the league.

The France-born midfielder has been involved in nearly half of the goals of the northern club in 29 appearances in the league this season.

At international level he made his debut for Morocco in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Cape Verde in March after pledging his future to the North African country.

Boufal provided an assist in the reverse fixture as Morocco beat Cape Verde 2-0 at home on 29 March to seal their place at the 2017 tournament in Gabon.