Egypt's Mohamed Salah shortlisted for FIFA player of the year prize

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Liverpool star nominated after record-breaking season in which his goals carried club to Champions League final and country to World Cup

Mohamed Salah scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for Liverpool last season (AFP)
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Tuesday 24 July 2018 16:22 UTC
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Egypt's Mohamed Salah was shortlisted on Tuesday for world football governing body FIFA's player of the year award after a season in which his goals carried Liverpool to the Champions League final.

Salah, was the top scorer in European club football last year, scoring 44 goals for the Premier League side in all competitions, and picking up player of the seasons honours in England.

But his season ended in disappointment when he was injured in the first half of Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League final, and was then unable to prevent Egypt from sliding to three successive defeats at the World Cup in Russia.

Other players nominated on the 10-man shortlist for the prize include Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, a previous five-time winner of FIFA's player of the year award who has just left European champions Real Madrid for Juventus, and French World Cup-winning star Kylian Mbappe.

FIFA said it would name a final list of three nominees in early September, with the awards ceremony set to take place in London on 24 September.

Football fans can vote for their preferred nominee on FIFA's website, with the result of the ballot taken into consideration alongside the votes of national team coaches and captains and selected journalists, FIFA said.

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Egypt's 'fourth pyramid' Mohamed Salah: 'He is one of us'

Earlier this month, the 26-year-old signed a new five-year contract at Liverpool reputed to be worth around £200,000 ($263,000) a week, making him the highest paid player in the club's history.

Salah, the current African footballer of the year, would be the first player from the continent to win the FIFA prize since Liberian striker George Weah, now the West African country's president, in 1995.

A national icon dubbed the "Fourth Pyramid" in Egypt, Salah has also been hailed for his influence off the pitch with some seeing him challenging prejudice and changing attitudes, with his Muslim identity celebrated in songs by Liverpool fans.