Just one day after receiving the African Player of the Year Award (for the second consecutive year), Mohamed Salah met with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, who presented him with the Outstanding Arab Athlete award at the 10th annual Mohammed Bin Rashid Creative Sports Award on Wednesday at the Dubai World Trade Centre’s Sheikh Rashid Ballroom.
The Egyptian athlete later met with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai at Zabeel Palace.
“Awards give athletes the motivation for more efforts and improvements,” stated the Liverpool striker when he accepted his accolade. “And an award that holds the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is great and huge one, because its value comes from Sheikh Mohammed’s great position as the pioneer innovator in all fields,” he added.
“Yesterday, I won the African Player of the Year award for the second time in a row, and today I am honored to be here to receive this prestigious award, and with a group of leading athletes and champions, including young people from different Arab countries, the award will be an incentive for them to achieve more achievements in the future,” he stated. He concluded by saying “May God help you to achieve the goals of this award and support our athletes and youth”.
Indeed, Salah had quite the 2018. The athlete, who scored 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season, is a national hero. He helped his team reach the 2018 Champions League final, but suffered a shoulder injury during the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in Kiev. Despite his injury, Salah represented his country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, scoring twice.
His spectacular season for Liverpool earned him the ultimate recognition in football as he was named as the Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year. The footballer is the object of a number of songs sung by Liverpool fans — including the infamous “If he’s good enough for me/ he’s good enough for you”.
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).