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Egypt's Mohamed Salah named African Footballer of the Year

Liverpool star helped Egypt qualify for World Cup finals for first time since 1990, as well as reaching final of Africa Cup of Nations
Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Southampton in November 2017 (AFP)

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah was named African Footballer of the Year for 2017 on Thursday in Accra, Ghana, finishing ahead of his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Salah, 25, polled 625 points from a voting panel made up of national team coaches and captains, plus a selection of officials and journalists, to win the award.

Mane finished second on 507 with Aubameyang third on 311, while Egypt was also named the team of the year.

Salah helped Egypt reach the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, in which they lost 2-1 to Cameroon, and to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990.

He also made an African record move to Liverpool and scored 23 goals in all competitions for the English Premier League club in 2017.

"This is a dream come true for me," Salah said at the Confederation of African Football awards.

"2017 was an unbelievable year for me with the Egypt national team and my clubs. To qualify to the World Cup after 28 years and to have a great season at Roma and Liverpool were special moments in my career."

Salah is only the second Egyptian to win the award after Mahmoud al-Khatib in 1983.

Salah and Mane were due to fly straight back to Liverpool by charter jet after Thursday's ceremony. Liverpool play local rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round on Friday.

Egypt will face hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in the group stage at this year's World Cup.

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