Mohamed Salah to kids in Africa: Never stop dreaming
The Egypt international winger scooped the prestigious award by fending off competition from Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This comes less than a month after he earned the BBC African Player of the Year award.
“It’s an honour to be nominated and to be between these two great players tonight. Winning this award is a dream come true. 2017 was an unbelievable year for me,” Salah said at the awards ceremony held at Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday.
“I had unbelievable moments as Egypt reached the World Cup for the first time since 28 years. I had wonderful moments at Roma and Liverpool.”
Salah had a memorable year on both the club and country level. The 25-year-old was an integral part of Egypt’s squad at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in February, where he registered two goals and two assists while leading Egypt to the competition’s final.
He was then joint top-scorer in the World Cup qualification, inspiring the Pharaohs to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
After his impressive form at Serie A side AS Roma, Salah joined Liverpool in the 2017 summer transfer window for £34m. The Egyptian winger wasted no time getting acclimated, scoring 23 goals in 29 matches across all competitions.
“I want to thank my family and all my teammates who supported me. I want to dedicate this award to all the kids in Africa and Egypt and tell them never stop dreaming and never stop believing,” he added.
Salah became the second Egyptian in history to win the prestigious award after Al Ahly legend Mahmoud El-Khatib in 1983. After the ceremony, Salah revealed that he’s looking to win the award again.
“If I can win this award twice, three, four times and even 20 times, I want to win it,” the former Basel winger said.
In Salah’s 60 official games in 2017 for Egypt, Roma and Liverpool, he managed 58 goal contributions — 39 goals and 19 assists.
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