Mohamed Salah beat Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the second successive year to retain the African Player of the Year title at the 2018 Caf Awards Tuesday night.
Like the previous year, the Premier League trio were up for the gong in the final shortlist at the Dakar gala night and the Egyptian scooped the honour for a success-laden 2018 with both Liverpool and the national team.
Salah, during the year under review, won the Premier League top scorer and best player awards while he also recovered from injury to put in a shift for the Pharaohs in their not-successful outing at the Russia Fifa World Cup with two goals. The 26-year-old has continued to be among the elite in world football for both club and country.
“I have dreamt of winning this award since I was a child and now I have done so twice in a row,” Salah said soon after receiving his trophy in Dakar.
“My thanks go to my family, my teammates and my fans and I dedicate this trophy to my homeland, Egypt.”
Mo Salah thus becomes only the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mahmoud al Khatib to be voted the best footballer in Africa.
It was double joy for Egypt on the day as the country, hours before the Caf Awards, received the nod to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. They crushed sole rivals South Africa 16-1 in a Caf executive committee vote to replace Cameroon as the new Afcon hosts Tuesday morning.
Having defended his Player of the Year title, Mo Salah next goal will be to match the four straight wins in the competition by former Manchester City and Ivory Coast star Yaya Toure.
The other male awards went to France-born Morocco coach Herve Renard, the Mauritania national team, and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi in the youth category.
South African Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana was voted Women’s Player of the Year and South Africa coach Desiree Ellis and the Nigeria national team were the other female winners.
The Goal of the Year award also went to Kgatlana.
African awards winners
Player of the Year: Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool/ENG)
Women’s player of the Year: Chrestinah Kgatlana (South Africa)
Youth player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)
Coach of the Year: Herve Renard (Morocco)
Women’s coach of the Year: Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
National team of the Year: Mauritania
Women’s national team of the Year: Nigeria
Goal of the Year: Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa)
FIFPro Africa Best XI: Denis Onyango (Uganda); Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast), Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal); Thomas Partey (Ghana), Naby Keita (Guinea), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria); Sadio Mane (Senegal), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Mohmaed Salah (Egypt)