Egypt and Liverpool forward, Mohamed Salah has described the year 2017 as an incredible one for him after he was crowned African Footballer of the year in Accra on Thursday.
The 25-year-old, who has scored 17 Premier League goals this season, also said wining the African Footballer of the Year gong was a dream come true.
“It is a privilege to have been crowned the best player in Africa and winning this award is a dream come true. 2017 was an unbelievable year for me. I had a fantastic time, especially with the national team where we qualified to the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. I also had a great season with Roma and now with Liverpool. I would like to thank my family, who always support me as well as the people I work with. This award is very important to me and my career and I want to dedicate it to all the children in Africa and in Egypt. I want to tell them never to stop believing and dreaming.”
Salah beat off competition from Liverpool team-mate and Senegal winger Sadio Mane, as well as Gabon and Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Salah helped Egypt reach the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations final in 2017.
Mane and Salah attended the ceremony in Ghana’s capital Accra, 24 hours before Friday’s FA Cup game against Everton, the latter ruled out with injury.
Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came third.
Salah, who was voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year in December, 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.
He also had a hand in all seven of the goals that took the Pharaohs to their first World Cup since 1990 – assisting two and scoring five, including the stoppage-time penalty against Congo that saw them qualify them for Russia.
Salah’s form at club level has been every bit as impressive as it has in internationals.
In Italy, he scored 15 goals and made 11 others as he helped Roma finish second in Serie A, before joining Liverpool, where he has scored 23 goals in 29 games so far for Jurgen Klo