Egypt star Mohamed Salah has capped the most successful period of his career by winning the 2017 African Player of the Year award.
Salah clinched the individual accolade ahead of 2015 winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane in a poll of African national team coaches.
The result was announced at the annual Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards on Thursday night in Accra, Ghana.
“Winning this award is a dream come true, 2017 was an unbelievable year for me,” Salah said after receiving the trophy.
“I would like to dedicate it to all the kids in Africa and Egypt, I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing.”The 25-year old has now won the two biggest personal accolades for African footballers in the space of a month after claiming the BBC Player of the Year.
Salah played a key role in Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign, where they reached the finals. In addition, he was the joint-top scorer – five goals – in the 2018 African World Cup Qualifiers, guiding Egypt to their first FIFA World Cup since 1990; scoring a 94th minute penalty against Congo to win the match and send Egypt to Russia next summer.
The former AS Roma forward has become an instant hit in England after joining Liverpool in the summer. He has bagged 23 goals for the Reds in just 29 appearances, five of them coming in the UEFA Champions and 17 in the Premier League.
In total, Salah netted 39 goals in 60 official games he played for both clubs and country in 2017.
Platinum Award – Nana Akufo-Addo (President, Republic of Ghana)
Platinum Award – George Weah (President-Elect, Liberia)
CAF Legends Award – Ibrahim Sunday (Ghana & Asante Kotoko)
Football Leader of the Year – Yahya Ahmed (Mauritania)
Club of the Year – Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)
Women’s National Team of the Year – Bayana Bayana (South Africa)
Coach of the Year – Hector Cuper (Egypt)
Youth Player of the Year – Patson Daka (Zambia)
Women’s Player of the Year – Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria)