Mohamed Salah has beaten off competition from the likes of Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Victor Moses and Naby Keita to claim 2017 BBC African Footballer of the Year prize.
“I am very happy to win this award,” the 25-year-old told BBC Sport.
The 25-year-old, who joined Liverpool from AS Roma at the beginning of the season, has enjoyed arguably the most successful year of his illustrious career, playing in the final of the African Cup of Nations and helping the Pharaohs to qualify for their first Fifa World Cup in 17 years.
“It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.”
Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals, has enjoyed a stellar year for both club and country.
In early 2017, the forward was the central figure for Egypt as they finished runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“I would like to thank my Liverpool team-mates and I also had a good season with Roma so I have to thank my team-mates there and my team-mates in the national team.”
“Since I came here, I wanted to work hard and show everyone my football. I wanted to come back to the Premier League since I left, so I am very happy.”
By winning the BBC African Footballer of the year prize Salah adds his name to a list of legends including Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) and Michael Essien (Ghana).
“I am very happy to be like them in winning this award,” said Salah, who follows compatriots Mohamed Barakat (2005) and
Mohamed Aboutrika (2008) in receiving the trophy.
2016: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City & Algeria)
2015: Yaya Toure (Manchester City & Ivory Coast)
2014: Yacine Brahimi (Porto & Algeria)
2013: Yaya Toure (Manchester City & Ivory Coast)
2012: Chris Katongo (Henan Construction & Zambia)
2011: Andre Ayew (Marseille & Ghana)
2010: Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland & Ghana)
2009: Didier Drogba (Chelsea & Ivory Coast)
2008: Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahly & Egypt)
2007: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal & Togo)
2006: Michael Essien (Chelsea & Ghana)
2005: Mohamed Barakat (Al Ahly & Egypt)
2004: Jay-Jay Okocha (Bolton & Nigeria)
2003: Jay-Jay Okocha (Bolton & Nigeria)
2002: El Hadji Diouf (Liverpool & Senegal)
2001: Sammy Kuffour (Bayern Munich & Ghana)
2000: Patrick Mboma (Parma & Cameroon)
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