Mohamed Salah Crowned African Player Of The Year For The Second Time

MOHAMED SALAH CROWNED AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR.  COURTESY

The continent's football governing body, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, will be awarding the best personalities, clubs and national teams for the year 2018.

Egypt forward Salah, 26, beat Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the title.

"I'm proud to win it twice, I must thank my family and my teammates, and I dedicate this award to my country, Egypt".

Salah's second Player of the Year prize means that Liverpool players have now won the award on a total of three occasions.

Salah has hit the ground running this season as well, racking up 16 goals to guide Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table.

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That injury raised doubts about his World Cup participation but he regained fitness to represent Egypt in the finals in Russian Federation, scoring twice as they exited in the first round.

Ironically, Aubameyang has scored one league goal more than Salah, topping the charts with Tottenham Hotspur and England star Harry Kane on 14.

Salah was born in the northern Egyptian town of Nagrig and used to make eight-hour return trips to train with Cairo-based El Mokawloon.

Later, playing for Chelsea in a League Cup tie, the Egyptian was so off-target with a goal attempt that the ball trickled over the touchline for a throw-in. Early in his career Salah found scoring hard, resulting in him quitting Chelsea for Italian outfits Fiorentina and then Roma.

Salah blossomed in Rome, averaging close to a goal every two matches, and Liverpool paid nearly 37 million pounds (about $47 mn/41 mn euros) to sign him two years ago.

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He also scored twice for the Pharaohs at the Russia World Cup.

Salah netted twice and missed two penalties three months later in a 6-0 Cup of Nations rout of Niger and snatched the late victor in a 3-2 victory over Tunisia in the same competition.

He became the first player to do so after Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure, who claimed it four years in a row between 2011 and 2014.

Mauritania won the men's National Team of the Year ahead of nominees Madagascar and Uganda.

South Africa's Chrestinah Kgatlana, who had a fine tournament at the 2018 AWCON, where the Banyana Banyana lost the final on penalties to Nigeria's Super Falcons, was named the Women's Player of the Year.

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That was the only award Nigeria won as Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi lost the Youth Player of the Year award to Morocco and Borussia Dortmund defender Achraf Hakimi.

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