Liverpool forward, Mohamed Salah’s spectacular season has earned him the ultimate recognition in football as he was named last night (April 22) as the Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year.
The former Chelsea player beat Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to the prestigious award after scoring 41 goals in his first year at Anfield. Mohamed Salah is the seventh Liverpool player to win the award, and also the first Egyptian. The 25-year-old star, who was presented the award at the elite sporting ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House, said: “It’s a big honour. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it. Hopefully I’m not the last [Egyptian footballer]! I’m very proud to win and I’ve worked very hard.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year is narrowed down to a six-man shortlist, who are voted for by other players. Yet, the award isn’t Salah’s first, having claimed three Player of the Month accolades in November, February and March, becoming the first Premier League footballer to do so. He is now the favorite to win the Golden Boot.
Salah’s football career began in his hometown club El Mokawloon in Egypt, before moving to Basel in Switzerland where he helped win the league title. His performance caught the attention of Premier League favourite Chelsea who signed Salah for a £11 million (US$15.4 million) fee in 2014. Despite the big money signing, Salah’s spell at Stamford Bridge was disappointing – he made just 13 appearances for Jose Mourinho’s side and was eventually loaned out to Italy’s Fiorentina and subsequently Roma. On 22 June 2017, Salah agreed a transfer to Liverpool, breaking the club’s record as the most expensive signing at £34 million (US$48 million).
“I didn’t have my chance at Chelsea,” said Salah, “so it was very clear in my mind that I return back to the Premier League and I will show everyone my football.” That he did scoring the most goals in a single season by a Liverpool player, beating Robbie Fowler’s record of 36 goals and Spanish player Fernando Torres’ 33 goals.