Prolific Liverpool scorer Mohamed Salah completed an awards hat-trick after being named African Footballer of the year last night in the Ghanaian capital Accra. This follows the Egyptian’s triumph in the BBC African Footballer of the Year in December and Arab Player of the Year earlier this week.
The 25-year-old forward becomes the first Egyptian to win the award since Mahmoud al-Khatib in 1983 after scoring 23 goals in 29 matches in all competitions this season for the Premier League outfit following his summer move from AS Roma.
He also starred for resurgent Egypt, who last year finished runners-up to Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations and secured a first World Cup appearance since 1990.He scored a brace in the penultimate round of World Cup qualifying and also scored the stoppage-time winner from a penalty that sealed a trip to Russia for the world cup.
“Winning this award is a dream come true — 2017 was an unbelievable year for me I had a fantastic time with the national team,” said Salah after receiving the trophy.
Salah’s Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane, of Senegal, was runner-up and 2015 winner, Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang third after a 30-player list had been trimmed to three.
National coaches, Confederation of African Football (CAF) officials, journalists and the public were involved in the voting. He succeeds Algerian Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City.
ASISAT OSHOALA MAKES IT THREE
Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria won the Women’s Footballer of the Year for the third time in a row while Patson Daka of Zambia was crowned Youth Player of the Year.
Argentine Egypt manager Hector Cuper was named Coach of the Year and other honours went to Egypt (national team), South Africa (women’s national team) and Wydad Casablanca (club).
Egypt’s National team the Pharaohs were recognised as men’s national team of the year and boss Hector Cuper was coach of the year.
Former Ghana star Ibrahim Sunday was given a special “Legend” award and the “Platinum award” was given jointly to the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the President-elect of Liberia, the former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah.
The other awards were handed out as follows:
Women’s National Team of the Year: South Africa’s Banyana Banyana
Club of the Year: African Champions League winners Wydad Casablanca
Youth Player of the Year: Patson Daka of Zambia and FC Liefering
Coach of the Year: Hector Cuper (Egypt)
National Team of the Year: Egypt
Africa’s Finest XI: Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia, Etoile Sahel); Ahmed Fathy (Egypt, Al Ahly), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast, Manchester Utd, England), Ali Maaloul (Tunisia, Al Ahly, Egypt); Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco, Wydad Casablanca), Karim el Ahmadi (Morocco, Feyenoord, Netherlands), Junior Ajayi (Nigeria, Al Ahly, Egypt), Achraf Bencharki (Morocco, Wydad Casablanca); Khalid Boutaib (Morocco, Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey), Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool, England), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia, Esperance)