Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been named 2017 CAF African Player of the Year.
Salah takes home the award for the first time ever, as he managed to defeat competition from fellow finalists Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the awards ceremony in Accra, Ghana.
The 25-year-old turned in a stunning campaign for Liverpool in 2017 as he scored 23 goals in 29 games after joining the English Premier League side from AS Roma.
On the international scene he helped Egypt to a second place finish at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, including goals against Ghana and Burkina Faso. His brace against Congo in October, which included a stoppage-time penalty in a 2-1 win, helped the Pharaohs qualify for their first FIFA World Cup since 1990 to round off a sensational year.
Aubameyang, meanwhile, scored an incredible 31 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions last term, but only managed to get his hands on the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund.
The CAF Player of the Year award was initially pared down to a shortlist of 24. From there, Salah, Aubameyang and Mane were named the three finalists in December.
The winner of the award was selected by the current coaches and captain from every men’s national team in Africa.
Salah's Liverpool team-mate Sane finished second in the voting, with Dortmund star Aubameyang coming in third.
MEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
On December 18, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were revealed as the final three contenders for the Men's Player of the Year award.
|Mohamed Salah||Liverpool / Egypt|
|Sadio Mane||Liverpool / Senegal|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Borussia Dortmund / Gabon|
The initial 24 nominees were:
|Essam El Hadary||(Egypt & Al Taawoun)|
|Fabrice Ondoa||(Cameroon & Sevilla)|
|Fackson Kapumbu||(Zambia & Zesco)|
|Jean Michel Seri||(Cote d’Ivoire & Nice)|
|Junior Kabananga||(DR Congo & Astana)|
|Karim El Ahmadi||(Morocco & Feyenoord)|
|Keita Balde||(Senegal & Monaco)|
|Khalid Boutaib||(Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor)|
|Mbwana Samata||(Tanzania & Genk)|
|Michael Olunga||(Kenya & Girona)|
|Mohamed Salah||(Egypt & Liverpool)|
|Moussa Marega||(Mali & Porto)|
|Naby Keita||(Guinea & RB Leipzig)|
|Percy Tau||(South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||(Gabon & Borussia Dortmund)|
|Sadio Mane||(Senegal & Liverpool)|
|Thomas Partey||(Ghana & Atletico Madrid)|
|Victor Moses||(Nigeria & Chelsea)|
|Vincent Aboubakar||(Cameroon & Porto)|
|William Troost-Ekong||(Nigeria & Bursaspor)|
|Yacine Brahimi||(Algeria & Porto)|
|Youssef Msakni||(Tunisia & Al Duhail)|
|Yves Bissouma||(Mali & Lille)|