Belgium boss surprised Salah was chosen POTY over Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez said that he is still surprised Liverpool and Egypt international Mohamed Salah defeated Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne to the PFA Player of the Year award and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.
Mohamed Salah’s exception debut season with the Reds in the Premier League helped him score 32 goals this season and was later handed the Premier League Golden Boot award, to become the first African player to win the Golden Boot since Ivory Coast icon Didier Drogba.
Salah collected the Premier League Player of the Season award after beating off competition from David de Gea (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
“I was surprised De Bruyne didn’t beat Salah to the Player of the Year. Mo has had an incredible season, the best season in his career,” Martinez said.
The former Everton coach recently expressed similar views right after Salah was announced as the winner of the PFA award, arguing that Manchester City were much more successful this season than Liverpool, something that he thinks should have boosted De Bruyne’s chances of winning the two awards.
“But Kevin almost came into a new way of working with Pep Guardiola, who has a really strong connection with him, and he influenced a lot of things.
“This is a team that has broken all the records in the Premier League.”
The young winger was supposed to play against Belgium on June 6th when Egypt meets the Red Devils in a friendly match as part of the final preparations for both sides before heading to the World Cup, however, Salah will not be fit to play the friendly as he is currently recovering from a recent shoulder injury.
“Individual awards are given for individual performances, but those individual performances come as part of a team in what is a team sport and Kevin, in the early part of the season, was magnificent.
“I understand what Mo did, but, out of the two, Kevin probably had a bigger effect over the season.”
Belgium is in Group D in the World Cup alongside Panama, England and Tunisia.
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