Liverpool’s Salah crowned Africa’s best

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool; Premier League

Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has received another feather in his cap after being voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017.

The 25-year-old forward, who made the shortlist for the first time, beat Reds team-mate Sadio Mane, Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita and Chelsea wing-back Victor Moses to the prestigious award.

Salah has been recognised for a fine year in which he helped the Pharaohs reach the Africa Cup of Nations final in February and qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He has already bagged 19 goals for the Merseyside giants since his record transfer from Roma, where he found the back of the net eight times in the first half of 2017 – taking his tally to 34 goals for the calendar year, which includes seven for his country.

Salah was presented with the trophy at Melwood by renowned sports journalist Mimi Fawaz and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

“I am very happy to win this award,” he 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.

“I want to be the best Egyptian ever so I work hard. I always follow my own way and I want everyone in Egypt to follow my way.

“I would like to thank my Liverpool team-mates and I also had a good season with Roma so I have to thank my team-mates there and my team-mates in the national team.

“Since I came here, I wanted to work hard and show everyone my football. I wanted to come back to the Premier League since I left, so I am very happy. I’d also like to win it next year!”

Klopp added: “It’s well-deserved. I am a really lucky person. I had the opportunity to work with a few outstanding players and I am happy that it is now with Mo.

“The good thing is that he is still young, there is a lot of space for improvement, a lot of potential still that we can work on, but that’s how it should be. It’s a big pleasure, to be honest, to work with him.”