Having already been secured the BBC African Footballer of the Year and Arab Player of the Year awards along with a mind-boggling array of individual plaudits, Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah completed the hat-trick in Ghana last night as he beat out teammate Sadio Mane and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Eric Aubameyang to be crowned Confederation of African Football Player of the Year.
“Winning this award is a dream come true, 2017 was an unbelievable year for me,” said the Egyptian, flashing his trademark smile. “I would like to dedicate it to all the kids in Africa and Egypt,” added Salah, a player who has never lost touch with his roots. “I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing.”
The 25-year old, who traded Italian side AS Roma for Liverpool in a big money move over the summer, has already bagged himself 17 goals in the Premier League this season — a single goal behind Tottenham Hotspur hit-man Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.
Although he’s set to sit out the FA Cup third round meeting with cross-town rivals Everton at Anfield later today, Mane trained normally this morning and is expected to be in the starting eleven when the two sides run out later today. The Senegalese winger has been in a bit of a slump as of late, but his goal against Burnley FC at the weekend should provide a big lift for the 25-year old as he looks to get his season back on track. Speaking to the press after finishing as runner-up to Salah, Mane took a second to address reports of a rift between the two players, dismissing them as nothing more than nonsense.
“Where do you get these rumours from? Did you see the assist I gave him in our last game?” asked the Reds attacker. “Mo and me are very, very good friends. He is maybe my best friend in Liverpool even though I am cool with everyone,” continued Mane. “Mo is the perfect gentleman, and it’s not just for the club,” stressed the 25-year old, full of praise for his teammate. “I know I mean a lot for people back home [in Senegal] but you have to see the reactions he gets from Egyptians when we even travel for games.”