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OFFICIAL: Mohamed Salah wins 2017 BBC African Player of the Year award

Mohamed Salah

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Egypt and star has been named the 2017 BBC African Player of the Year, becoming the third-ever Egyptian to win the prestigious award.

The award is annually given to the best African footballer of the year, as voted by fans.

The only other Egyptians to have won the award are Mohamed Barakat and Mohamed Abou-Treika in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Barakat and Treika both won the award while playing for Al Ahly, making the Salah the first Egyptian to win the award playing abroad.

Mohamed Salah had a tremendous year for both club and country. In 2016/17, the 25-year-old had his best-ever season, scoring 19 goals in all competitions for Roma, despite missing almost a month and a half due to his participation with the Egyptian national team at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). At the AFCON in Gabon, Salah was involved in four of Egypt’s five goals with two goals and two assists as he led the Pharaohs to the final.

Salah’s performances earned him a €42 million move to Liverpool. At Liverpool, Salah has been on fire, scoring 13 and assisting three in the Premier League. In addition to this, Salah has five goals and two assists in the Champions League. Salah also led Egypt to their first World Cup appearance in 28 years after scoring a last-minute winner against Congo to qualify the Pharaohs for the 2018 World Cup.

The Liverpool winger won the award over teammate Sadio Mane, Chelsea’s Victor Moses, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and future Liverpool teammate RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita.

Before the award was announced, footballing legend Diego Maradona backed Salah to win. “I would like to support Salah who has greatly succeeded with Roma and Liverpool,” Maradona said. “He’s a wonderful player who surely deserves the award.”

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