Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala were named as the top players in Africa at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards in Accra, Ghana, on Thursday.
Salah’s efforts in helping Egypt qualify for their first FIFA World Cup™ since 1990 and his sensational start with new club Liverpool in the English Premier League were crucial factors in him receiving the award.
“Winning this award is a dream come true. 2017 was an unbelievable year for me,” said Salah, who is the first Egyptian to win the continental award. “I want to dedicate this award to all the kids in Africa and in Egypt, and to tell them to never stop dreaming and believing.”
Oshoala led Dalian Quanjian to the Chinese Women’s Super League championship, the club’s second title in their history. She will be hoping to lead Nigeria to an eighth consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019, as qualifying for Africa runs between 17 November and 1 December in Ghana.
“2017 has truly been an emotional journey for me,” said Oshoala, who won the award for a record third time. “This is truly one of the best moments in my career. I want to encourage young girls out there to not let people discourage you and to follow your own heart.”
Taking home the women’s national team of the year award was South Africa’s senior side. The club of the year award went to FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 participants Wydad Casablanca.
Egypt coach Hector Cuper, who will lead the Pharaohs at Russia 2018 this summer, took home the coach of the year award, while his team also won the team of the year award.
Patson Daka, who played an integral role in getting Zambia to the FIFA U-20 World Cup quarter-finals at Korea Republic 2017, won the youth player of the year award.