Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah capped off a strong year by taking home the CAF Player of the Year Award for 2017.
The Egyptian international has made a phenomenal start to his Liverpool career since signing in a £36.9m deal from Roma in the summer, scoring 23 goals in 29 games in all competitions as Jurgen Klopp’s side qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League and stayed very much in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
On the international front, the 25-year-old scored a last-minute winning penalty against Congo to send Egypt to their first World Cup since 1990.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 4, 2018
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 4, 2018
The award was voted on by CAF officials, journalists and the general public. In his acceptance speech, Salah dedicated the award to the children of Africa:
“Winning this award is a dream come true — 2017 was an unbelievable year for me I had a fantastic time with the national team,” said Salah after receiving the trophy.
“This is a big award for me, a special moment in my career. I would like to dedicate it to all the kids in Africa and Egypt.
“I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing.”
In what was a strong year for African Liverpool forwards, Senegalese international Sadio Mane came second in the voting, with 2015 winner, Gabon and Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, coming in at third place.
Future Liverpool (and current RB Leipzig) midfielder Naby Keita was also in the running initially, but lost out when the list of nominees was reduced to three.