Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been named African Player of the Year for 2017 by the CAF, with Senegal winger and teammate Sadio Mané coming second and Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finishing third, as revealed at the Confederation of African Football awards ceremony in Accra on Thursday night.
The honour follows Salah being awarded the BBC’s African Player of the Year prize in December and being named the Arabic Player of the Year earlier this week by the Arabic Association of Sports Journalists, all well deserved honours on the strength of a stellar 2017 that saw the player establish himself as one of the world’s top footballers with his country, Roma, and Liverpool.
Internationally, the 25-year-old Salah carried Egypt to the World Cup—their first since 1990—following a starring turn for them in last January’s African Cup of Nations where he was named to the team of the tournament. Both international endeavours showed off his leadership, his determination, and his ability to raise the games of the players around him.
Meanwhile, at the club level, 2017 was the year Salah broke through as a world class goal scorer. For Roma in the second half of the 2016-17 season, Salah scored ten goals and added nine assists in 20 total appearances. Then, he moved to Anfield, and at Liverpool in 2017 he managed a jaw-dropping 23 goals and eight assists in 29 total appearances.
It would have been a shock, really, if he hadn’t been named Player of the Year by the CAF, and that he officially has been now is entirely deserved—as is club teammate Mané’s second-place finish.