Egypt’s Mohammed Salah was crowned African Player of the Year 2017 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.
The Liverpool in-form player polled a total of 625 points, against 507 points by Sadio Mane and 311 points by Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It was an exciting year for the 25-year old and a memorable evening for Egyptian football which saw the Pharaohs named Team of the Year and Hector Cuper, Coach of the Year. Nigeria’s Gernot Rohr missed out.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala won her third award in four years and becomes the third player after Perpetua Nkwocha and Cynthia Uwak to win the Women’s Player of the Year Award consecutively. The Chinese based and former Arsenal forward now has three CAF Player of the Year Awards and is only bettered by compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha with four awards.
The Fans had their say in the Finest XI and it was a very skewed selection such that Sadio Mane and Aubameyang couldn’t make the team. Well, fans will be fans.
The award ceremony which lasted over 2 hours had the following awards:
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)
The African Player of the Year Award (Based in Africa) was scrapped out. I wonder if UEFA nominate Europeans not playing in Europe for their awards. Well, Europe is the hub.
A new year is here. Enough of the awards. Time to let football do the talking.
Picture Credit: CAF Website