DAKAR, January 9: Mohamed Salah completed a memorable day for Egyptian football by retaining his African Player of the Year award in Senegal Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Liverpool star finished first with club-mate Senegalese Sadio Mane and Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the other finalists.
“I have dreamt of winning this award since I was a child and now I have done so twice in a row,” Salah said soon after receiving his trophy in Dakar.
“My thanks go to my family, my team-mates and my fans and I dedicate this trophy to my homeland, Egypt.”
It was an identical outcome to last year when Salah became only the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mahmoud al Khatib to be voted the best footballer in Africa.
Egypt crushed sole rivals South Africa 16-1 earlier on Tuesday in a CAF executive committee vote in Dakar to decide which country succeeded Cameroon as 2019 Cup of Nations hosts.
Delays to preparations and concerns about security resulted in the central African nation being replaced as hosts, and they will stage the 2021 tournament instead.
While the 15-vote winning margin for Egypt was unexpected, the success of Salah was anticipated as he continues to score regularly for the English Premier League leaders. (AFP)