Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been named the BBC African Player of the Year for 2017.
Mohamed Salah saw off competition from Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Guinean Naby Keita, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Nigeria’s Victor Moses.
He was presented with his award by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at the club’s Melwood training ground.
“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 had an exceptional year for Egypt, leading them to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, and then to next year’s World Cup in Russia.
“I want to be the best Egyptian ever so I work hard,” added Salah, who is the third player from Egypt to win the award and first since 2008.
“I always follow my own way and I want everyone in Egypt to follow my way.”
Salah’s form at club level as been every bit as impressive as it has in internationals.
In Italy, he scored 15 goals and made 11 others as he helped Roma finish second in Serie A, their best league placing in seven years, prior to joining Liverpool and scoring 13 times in his first 16 league games.
“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,” said Salah.
“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 am very happy to be like them in winning this award,” said Salah, who follows compatriots Mohamed Barakat (2005) and Mohamed Aboutrika (2008) in receiving the trophy.