Former Chelsea player and prolific Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been crowned BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017, The Express reports.
In a star-studded five-man shortlist, the winger emerged victorious to scoop the prize for his sterling performance for the Egyptian national team and Liverpool this season
Among the other contenders were his team-mate Sadio Mane, Chelsea’s Victor Moses, Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Red Bull Leipzig’s Naby Keita.
Moses finished fourth and soon-to-be Liverpool player Keita came fifth.
Salah said, “I have always followed my way, and I want everyone in Egypt to follow my way.
“Since I left Egypt, in my mind, I want to be the best Egyptian ever.
“I work hard and try to be different from them.”
While Salah has made a name for himself at Liverpool since his summer move from Roma, his biggest achievement to date came for his country.
The Egyptian scored a late strike against Congo in October to ensure his country qualified for their first World Cup in over a quarter of a century
Egypt — African champions a record seven times — had not reached a World Cup since 1990, but the 25-year-old scored from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time with the scores level at 1-1.
In total, Salah scored five of the seven goals in Egypt’s World Cup qualifying campaign,
He also helped Egypt reach the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, winning a place in the team of the tournament, but ultimately they lost to Cameroon to finish as runners-up.
This is the first time Salah has been nominated for African Footballer of the Year and he becomes the first Egyptian to win it since Mohamed Aboutrika in 2008.
Salah’s teammate Mane came second in the vote, while Aubameyang finished third following another impressive year with the German side.