By Owolabi Abiola/First Zeal media
Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was named BBC’s African Player of the Year for the second successive year on Friday as he continues to produce dazzling displays.
Salah, who had a stellar year, beat off competition from Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal, Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia (Morocco), Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) and Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey (Ghana) to scoop the prize.
“It’s a great feeling to win again. I’m happy and I would like to win it also next year!” Salah said.
The 26-year-old finished as the Premier League’s top scorer last season with a record 32 goals in a 38-game top-flight campaign and helped propel Liverpool to a place in the European Champions League final for the first time since 2007.
He netted 44 goals in 52 games in all competitions last term, a brilliant form which earned him multiple individual awards.
“There have been many good moments in 2018. The game against Roma at Anfield [Champions League semi-final first leg] was unbelievable,” he added. I’m scoring goals and helping the team to get the points to be top of the league. That’s always a great feeling.
“My aim for 2019 is to win something with the club so everyone is excited. I try to push myself every day to help the team win something.”
Salah won the BBC award last year for leading Egypt to a place at the World Cup finals for the first time in 28 years as well as enjoying a dream start with Liverpool in the first half of the 2017/18 season.
The 26-year-old became the first player to be named BBC’s African Player of the Year for two consecutive years since former Nigeria playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha, who won the award in 2001 and 2002.
Two other Egyptian players have clinched the prize since it was introduced in 1992 — former Ahly duo Mohamed Barakat and Mohamed Abou-Treika in 2005 and 2008 respectively.
The BBC award is decided fan votes.
Salah is also a frontrunner to be named CAF’s African Player of the Year for the second year running when the winner is announced next month.
2017: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt)
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)