Mohamed Salah has beaten off competition from the likes of Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Victor Moses and Naby Keita to claim 2017 BBC African Footballer of the Year prize.
The 25-year-old, who joined Liverpool from AS Roma at the beginning of the season, has enjoyed arguably the most successful year of his illustrious career, playing in the final of the African Cup of Nations and helping the Pharaohs to qualify for their first Fifa World Cup since 1990.
In the English Premier League, he leads the top scorer chat with 13 goals, and boasts of five goals in this season’s Champions League.
English Premier League
|2||Harry Kane||15||Tottenham Hotspur||12|
|3||Sergio Agüero||11||Manchester City||9|
|4||Raheem Sterling||14||Manchester City||9|
|7||Gabriel Jesus||15||Manchester City||8|
|8||Romelu Lukaku||16||Manchester United||8|
|10||Jamie Vardy||16||Leicester City||7|
“I am very happy to win this award,” Salah told BBC Sport.
“It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.”
“I would like to thank my Liverpool team-mates and I also had a good season with Roma so I have to thank my team-mates there and my team-mates in the national team.”
His teammate at Anfield, Mane finished in second place while Gabon international Aubameyang and Nigeria’s Moses finished in third and fourth place respectively with Guinea’s Keita fending a distant fifth.
Reacting to Salah’s feat, manager Jurgen Klopp says the award was a deserved one for the former Chelsea forward.
“It’s well-deserved,” he said.
“I am a really lucky person. I had the opportunity to work with a few outstanding players and I am happy that it is now with Mo.
“The good thing is that he is still young, there is a lot of space for improvement, a lot of potential still that we can work on, but that’s how it should be. It’s a big pleasure, to be honest, to work with him.”
With this achievement, Salah becomes the third Egyptian to wear this crown after Mohamed Barakat (2005) and Mohamed Aboutrika (2008).