Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has named Mohamed Salah of Egypt as the 2017 African Player of the year.
The Liverpool star beat Sadio Mane of Senegal and Liverpool, and Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who plays for Dortmund. He takes over from Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez who won the 2016 edition in Abuja.
Salah, who was rewarded for his successes at the club and country levels in 2017, added the honour to his collection after being voted BBC African Footballer of the Year in December and Arab Player of the Year earlier this week.
The 25-year-old Egyptian, who is credited with lighting up the English Premier League in his first six months at Liverpool, scored 20 goals in his first 26 games for the club. Salah, who was bought by Liverpool from AS Roma for 42 million euros, also helped Egypt qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.
Salah has become the most famous athlete in Egypt in the last three years and an inspiration to the country’s youths.
Salah was crowned Africa’s most valuable player at the Aiteo CAF Awards 2017 ceremony in Accra on Thursday.
“Winning this award is a dream come true. 2017 was an unbelievable year for me,” said Salah, who is the first Egyptian to win the continental award. “I want to dedicate this award to all the kids in Africa and in Egypt, and to tell them to never stop dreaming and believing.”
CAF also awarded other players and teams in African football over the last year at the prestigious event.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala was named Women’s Player of the Year while South Africa took home the Women’s National Team of the Year award. The Pharaohs were doubly rewarded for their brilliant year as their trainer Hector Cuper won the Coach of the Year award and Egypt the National Team of the Year award. The Club of the Year award went to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, which won the CAF Champions League for the second time last November.
Full list of CAF 2017 Awards winners:
African Player of the Year: Mohamed Salah of Egypt
Coach of the Year: Hector Cuper, head coach of Egypt
Club of the Year: Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.
National Team of the Year: Egypt
Women’s Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria
Women’s National team of the Year: South Africa U20
Youth Player of the Year: Patson Daka of Zambia.
Legend award: Sunday Ibrahim (Ghana), best player in Africa in 1971.
Platinum Award: Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, President-elect of Liberia, George Weah.
Africa’s best XI (fans vote):
Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia) – Ali Maalouli (Tunisia), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast), Ahmed Fathi (Egypt) – Mohamed Ounajem (Morocco), Karim Al-Ahmadi (Morocco), Achraf Bencharki (Morocco) Khaled Boutalib (Morocco) – Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Junior Ajayi (Nigeria)