Sunday 16 June, 2019

Salah retains African Player of the Year award

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

Mohamed Salah has been named African Player of the Year for the second time in succession.

Salah defended his crown after scoring 44 goals for Liverpool and Egypt in 2018, the 26-year-old finishing as the 2017-18 Premier League Golden Boot winner with 32 goals.

Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also made the three-man shortlist for the award.

The nominees for the main award made up the front three in Confederation of African Football's (CAF's) Africa Best XI of the year, with Guinea's Naby Keita providing further Liverpool representation in a midfield completed by Atletico Madrid and Ghana's Thomas Partey and Manchester City and Algeria's Riyad Mahrez.

The back-four was split between Serie A and the Premier League, with Juventus and Morocco's Mehdi Benatia alongside Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly – an international colleague of Mane's.

Ivory Coast duo Serge Aurier and Eric Bailly won approval thanks, in part, to their displays for Tottenham and Manchester United, while Uganda's Denis Onyango of South African club Mamelodi Sundowns was recognised as Africa's best goalkeeper.

Morocco full-back Achraf Hakimi, currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid, was named African Youth Player of the Year. Hakimi's national-team boss Herve Renard collected Men's Coach of the Year.

Thembi Kgatlana and Desiree Ellis made it a South African double in the women's player and coach categories, although Nigeria's third consecutive triumph at the Africa Women Cup of Nations saw them scoop the team award.

In November, Mauritania qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time in their history – a feat good enough to secure Men's National Team of the Year.

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