Egypt, Sports

Mohamed Salah Crowned Aiteo/CAF Player of the Year

Mohamed Salah

Egypt and Liverpool playmaker, Mohamed Salah, was last night crowned African Player of the Year 2017.

The 25-year old, was selected as Africa's best player for the next one year at the Aiteo/CAF Awards Gala 2017 that took place last night at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

Salah who polled 625 points fended off opposition from his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal who got 507 votes and 2015 winner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund to pick the most prestigious individual honour in African football.

It was a fitting honour for the player who was earlier selected as 2017 Africa's Best Player by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) last month.

Salah netted 12 goals in 15 Premier League appearances for the Merseyside club this season as he further cements himself as one of Africa's leading players in the world today, playing a pivotal role in leading the Pharaohs of Egypt to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.

He turned himself into a cult hero in Egypt after expertly taking the penalty in the final minutes of the World Cup qualifier against Congo in Alexandria. That goal ensured a 2-1 victory which sent Egypt through to her first World Cup since 1990.

Salah's feat was the climax of a memorable evening for Egyptian football which saw the Pharaohs being named National Team of the Year and their Argentina-born trainer, Hector Cuper, Coach of the Year.

Speaking shortly after, Salah described the award as the best of his career, coming after a very difficult year for both club and country.

For Nigeria, only Asisat Oshoala who was adjudged Women's Player of the Year for the third time, after 2014 and 2016 and Junior Ajayi who plys his trade with Al Ahly of Egypt made the podium. Ajayi was listed in the continent's Finest XI midfield.

Oshoala beat both Cameroonian Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Chrestina Kgatlana of South Africa to the top prize.

Both Gernot Rohr and Super Eagles nominated in the Coach of the Year and National Team of the Year categories were beaten to the titles.

In other categories, Banyana Banyana was named Women's National Team of the Year while African champions, Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco deservingly went home with the Club of the Year award.

Patson Daka ensured Zambia was represented on the podium with the Youth Player of the Year, ten years after compatriot Clifford Mulenga was decorated Most Promising Talent of the Year.

Former Ghana player Ibrahim Sunday, a member of the Asante Kotoko squad that won the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1970 was decorated with the Legend award.

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