The Egyptian national team and Liverpool player Mohamed Salah made a new achievement, winning a new title. Salah continues to break records to prove that he is the best player in the history of the Egyptian football with achievements that he marked first.
The Egyptian icon was voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for the second time in a row surpassing all his rivals after his great season with Liverpool and the national team. No other player was able to compete.
Beside Salah, the shortlist for the award included four other African players: Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal and Napoli), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco and Juventus), Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool), and Thomas Partey (Ghana and Atletico Madrid).
The Egyptian Pharaoh was crowned with the award in 2017. It seems like he adored the title and worked to keep it.
The final shortlist of five candidates was prepared by football experts from inside and outside Africa. They were asked to nominate the top five candidates, ranking them from one to five, where the best gets five points. The experts were asked to select their candidates according to sports excellence, including individual skills, technical abilities, team play, impact on the results, performance throughout the season, and the regional impact, including the player’s contribution to the fields of football and sports in general. The general voting was the last step. Of course, fans around the world adore Salah and gave him full support, which contributed to his win.
Salah became the third Egyptian and fifth Arab to crown the BBC award since it was launched in 1991.
The first Egyptian and Arab player to receive the award was Mohammed Barakat in 2005, after contributing to Al Ahly’s victory in the CAF Champions League, at the expense of Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and Nigerian Obafemi Martins.
In 2008, Mohamed Aboutrika was voted for the award overwhelmingly with 155,000 votes at the time, surpassing Wigan Athletic’s Amr Zaky, Emmanuel Adebayor, Ivorian Didier Drogba, and Eto’o.
Aboutrike tipped the scale after winning with Egypt the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana 2008, as well as the Egyptian League and the CAF Champions League with Al Ahly. He scored the winning goal in the final match of AFCON 2008 against Cameroon in the 75th minute mark.
Yacine Brahimi won the trophy in 2014 after showing superb performance with FC Porto and the Algerian national team. His national, Riyad Mahrez, won the award in 2016 after he was crowned the English Premier League title in 2016 with Leicester City.
The award was first won by the Ghanaian Abedi Pele in 1991. He was the first player to win the award when he was playing for Marseille. The Zambian team won the prize in 1994 after recovering from the disaster of losing 18 players in the crash of their plane in 1993. The team made it to the final of the African Cup in Tunisia but lost 2-1 to Nigeria.
Liberia’s George Weah won the award in 1995, Emmanuel Amunike in 1996, and then Kanu twice in 1997 and 1999.
In 2000, Cameroonian Patrick M’Boma won the title. Ghanaian Samuel Kuffour won the 2011 award after helping Bayern Munich win the UEFA Champions League in 2001. Kuffour scored the winning goal in extra time at the Club World Cup against South American Boca Juniors. Senegal made a big surprise by defeating France in the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. The team reached the quarter-finals with El Hadji Diouf in its ranks, winning him the award in 2002. Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha won the award in two consecutive years 2003 and 2004 to be the first player to win the award in two consecutive years.
Barakat won in 2005, Michael Essien in 2006, Adebayor in 2007, Aboutrika in 2008, Drogba in 2009, Asamoah Gyan in 2010, André Ayew in 2011, Christopher Katongo in 2012, Yaya Touré in 2013 and 2015, Yacine Brahimi in 2014, and Mahrez in 2016.
Nagrig celebrates the Egyptian Pharaoh’s win
A large number of the residents of Nagrig, the hometown of Salah, in Gharbeya have been following the ceremony held last Friday to announce the winner of BBC Best Player in Africa 2018.
The celebrations began after Salah was announced winner of the title, equalling the record of Okosha, the former star of Nigeria.
Salah won the Golden Boot last season for heading the list of top scorers in the English Premier League in his debt season with Liverpool. He also led his team to the final of the UEFA Champions League before losing to Real Madrid when he suffered a serious arm injury.
Hundreds of the resident of Negrig listened to Salah’s speech after he received the prize. He said that it would not be his last time and that he would seek to win it every year. He added that he hopes to help Liverpool to win the English championship.
Following the end of the ceremony, Salah’s father distributed meat in the town celebrating his son’s achievement.
“Wait to see me winning the award for the third time in 2019”
“It feels great to win the award again and I hope to win it for the third time in 2019,” Salah said.
He added that 2018 was a busy year for him, full of happy moments, including his fantastic goal against AS Roma in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
About his goal in 2019, Salah said “I want to win all the local and continental titles with Liverpool to make the club’s fans happy.”
Salah has become the most crowned player with the BBC award, alongside Okosha, Nwankkwo Kanu, and Toure.
Salah has managed to achieve many individual successes in 2018. Played 47 matches this year, Salah scored 35 goals with Liverpool and contributed to scoring 15 goals. He was named the Best Player in the English Premier League. He also won the Golden Boot for 2017/18 after finishing the season with 32 goals.
The 26-year-old player scored 10 goals in the UEFA Champions League. He was the only player to score two goals for the Egyptian national team at the World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Salah ranked third in the list of world best players by FIFA, and sixth on the list of France Football magazine. He made the best Arab football achievement when he was shortlisted in the 30-man roster for the Ballon d’Or.