Mohamed Salah Crowned CAF African Player of the Year
Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has been crowned CAF African Player of the Year after a year packed with sparkling displays for Liverpool, AS Roma and his national team.
The 25-year-old beat his Liverpool teammate Saido Mane, and Borusia Dortmund’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang after tallying votes from Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations and the selected ten members from the Independent Media and TV Consultants groups.
Without question, 2017 was Mohamed Salah’s year. Apart from the 17 Premier League goals in the first half of the Premier League season, a feat bettered by only Harry Kane, Salah was also instrumental in Egypt’s World cup qualification campaign.
The BBC African footballer of the year scored a stoppage time penalty against Congo to ensure his country qualified for their first World Cup in over a century. With five goals and two assists in the qualification campaign, Salah almost single-handely helped Egypt qualify for their first World Cup final since 1990.
He was also cruicial as AS Roma mounted a title challenge in Italy last season and contributed 15 goals as the side finished second on 87 points, their highest tally ever recorded in the Italian league.
An emotional Salah who as a kid used to take four buses to go for training everyday dedicated the award to the children of Africa saying,
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“It’s a special moment for me in my career. I want to dedicate this award to all the children of Africa. Never stop dreaming”.[/perfectpullquote]
He becomes the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mohmoud al Khatib to win CAF African Player of the Year.
Gabon’s captain Aubameyang came in second in the vote while his Liverpool team-mate Saido Mane came in third.
Salah joins the elite company of African legends like Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto, Abedi Pele, Yaya Toure, El Hajji Diof and former Liberian striker George Weah.
The other winners of the night include Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala who won Female player of the year, Mautitania FA president Ahmed Yahya the single nominee for Football leader of the year, Egypt’s Hector Cuper as Coach of the year, and Zambia’s Patson Daka for Youth Player of the year
In the team awards, Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club beat rivals Al Ahly to win Club of the year, South Africa’s Banyana Banyana won Women’s National Team of the Year while Egypt beat Cameroon to the Male team of the year Award
Image: @LFC /Twitter