LONDON – Adding a new award to his growing list of honors, Liverpool Muslim superstar Mohamed Salah has been named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, The BBC reported Tuesday.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne came second with Tottenham striker Harry Kane third.
Salah and 26-year-old Belgian De Bruyne collected more than 90% of the votes from members of the Football Writers’ Association.
FWA chairman Patrick Barclay described the battle between the two as “the toughest call since 1968-69” when there was a dead heat between Tony Book of Manchester City and Derby’s Dave Mackay.
“Right up to the last week or so we thought it might happen again, so strong was the support for Kevin de Bruyne,” said Barclay.
“But Mo Salah’s relentless match-winning form, exemplified by his two great goals against Roma, seems to have swung the vote by a very narrow margin.”
Salah has scored 43 goals in all competitions after signing for £34m from Roma in the summer.
The Egypt star – the first African winner of the award – also won the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award in April.
Hailing from a Muslim-majority country, Salah is a devout Muslim who often prostrates to God on the field after scoring goals – a trend in sports that Egyptian players have started since 2006 during the African Cup of Nations in Egypt- hence nicknamed the ‘Prostrating Pharaohs’.
Two months ago, the traveling Liverpool fans in the streets of a Portuguese city in midweek struck up a new chant to the tune of the 90s hit “Good Enough” by Dodgy with the line: “If he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too!”
A recent report by Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) found that the success of Liverpool Muslim star Mohamed Salah has significantly decreased hate and race crimes in the English Premier League.
Salah is not the only Muslim player in Liverpool and Premier League. More players can be found in the report below.