LONDON – Devout Muslim Egyptian and Liverpool star Momahed Salah has been crowned BBC footballer of the year, after a successful year for both club and country.
“I am very happy to win this award,” the 25-year-old told BBC Sport.
“It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.”
Salah beat off competition from team-mate Sadio Mane, Leipzig’s future Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Chelsea’s Victor Moses to win the award.
He is the third Egyptian to win the award, following the legendary Mohamed Aboutrika who picked up the gong in 2008, and Mohammed Barakat, in 2005; but Salah is the first Liverpool player since El Hadji Diouf won the award in 2002.
Salah began the year by reaching the final of the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt and later helped steer his country to their first World Cup finals since 1990.
He is also the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals.