Another day, another individual award for Mohamad Salah. The Egyptian King has been voted African Player of the Year for the second year in a row, beating out Senegalese teammate Sadio Mane and three others—Medhi Benatia, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Thomas Partey—on the five-man shortlist.
Salah memorably fired Egypt into their first World Cup in 28 years, and was a monumental part of Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final, contributing 44 goals in all competitions for the Reds, including a single season record of 32 goals in the Premier League. And he’s showed no sign of slowing down; the winger is currently joint top in the Premier League with 10 goals, and has 13 goals and 4 assists in all competitions.
Unlike last year, Salah and Mane did not make the trip to pick up the award in-person. The massive games against Napoli and Manchester United, in the Champions League and Premier League, respectively, were certainly major considerations.
There’s also the little matter of being in a title challenge, and needing our front three firing in order to gain every possible point. Individual awards are nice, but team silverware are really the awards that set players apart. Hopefully this will be a relatively minor award compared to other possibilities on the horizon.