Liverpool FC and Egyptian playmaker Mohamed Salah etched his name into football history after being crowned African Player of the Year 2017. The 25-year old, who plays for English side Liverpool picked the topmost prize at the Aiteo CAF Awards Gala 2017, held on Thursday, 4 January 2018, at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.
Salah fended off opposition from club-mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, winner in 2015, to become the first Egyptian to win the most prestigious individual honour in African football. He polled 625 points, against 507 from Mane whilst Aubameyang finished a distant third with 311 points.
Salah’s feat was the climax of a memorable evening for Egyptian football which saw the Pharaohs being named National Team of the Year and Argentina-born trainer, Hector Cuper, Coach of the Year.
Nigerian Asisat Oshoala was adjudged Women’s Player of the Year for the third time, after 2014 and 2016. She beat Cameroonian Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Chrestina Kgatlana of South Africa to the top prize.
There were also musical performances from Toofan from Togo, DR Congo’s Fally Ipupa, and Nigerian septet of Patoranking, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, Phyno and Flavour.
Full list of winners:
African Player of the Year
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Dalian Quanjian)
Youth Player of the Year
Patson Daka (Zambia & Liefering)
Coach of the Year
Hector Cuper (Egypt)
Club of the Year
Wydad Athletic Club
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
Ibrahim Sunday (Ghana)
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – President of Ghana
George Weah – President-elect of Liberia & former World, Africa and European Player of the Year
Fans’ Finest XI
Goalkeeper: Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathi (Egypt & Al Ahly), Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United), Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
Midfielders: Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club), Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord), Junior Ajayi (Nigeria & Al Ahly), Achraf Bencharki (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)