Mohamed Salah Wins BBC African Footballer of the Year Award
Mohamed Salah has been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017 after a stellar year for club and country.
Red-hot Salah, who’s acclimatized beautifully after his African record transfer from Roma to Liverpool, won by a record number of votes ahead of Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Guinean Naby Keita, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Nigeria’s Victor Moses.
The Egypt talisman said he’s delighted to dethrone Leicester City and Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez who won the accolade in 2016.
“I am very happy to win this award,” Salah, 25, told BBC Sport.
“It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.”
It’s been a meteoric rise for Salah who earlier this year powered Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations where they lost to Cameroon.
The former Chelsea attacker also had a hand in all seven of the goals that took the Pharaohs to their first World Cup since 1990 – assisting two and scoring five, including the hair-raising stoppage-time penalty against Congo that sealed their spot in Russia.
“I want to be the best Egyptian ever so I work hard,” added Salah, who is the third player from Egypt to win the award after Mohamed Barakat (2005) and Mohamed Aboutrika (2008).
“I always follow my own way and I want everyone in Egypt to follow my way.”
After notching 15 goals and 11 assists to help Roma to a second-place finish in the Serie A last season, Salah now leads the Premier League scorers chart with 13 goals following a mesmeric entrance into the English game.
“I would like to thank my Liverpool team-mates and I also had a good season with Roma so I have to thank my team-mates there and my team-mates in the national team,” said Salah.
“Since I came here, I wanted to work hard and show everyone my football. I wanted to come back to the Premier League since I left, so I am very happy.”
“It’s well-deserved,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who handed the trophy to the player at the club’s Melwood training academy.
“The good thing is that he is still young, there is a lot of space for improvement, a lot of potential still that we can work on, but that’s how it should be. It’s a big pleasure, to be honest, to work with him.”
Mohamed Salah now adds his name to a list of legends including Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) and Michael Essien (Ghana) who have won the prestigious prize.