The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named Egyptian, Mohamed Salah as the 2017 African Footballer of the Year while Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala picked the award for the female version.
The award gala took place in Ghana inside the beautiful International Conference Centre in Accra with a host of former award winners on parade. The newly elected Liberian president George Weah was represented by his wife and also in attendance was ex-Barcelona winger Emmanuel Amuneke, ‘Prince of Monaco’ Victor Ikpeba and the mercurial Kanu Nwankwo.
The event which was sponsored by the Aiteo group was filled with glamour as a fine core of music artistes light up the stage in a well-timed and organised show.
Egyptian Mohamed Salah beat Gabon’s Aubameyang and Sadio Mane of Senegal to win the 2017 CAF player of Year which was a career first for the Liverpool flying winger.
Salah enjoyed a remarkable 2017 as he powered Egypt to their first World Cup since 1990 when he scored a dramatic stoppage-time penalty against Congo during the qualifiers.
The 25-year-old helped AS Roma finish second in the Serie A behind Juventus, scoring 15goals with 11 assists – that earned him a big money move to Liverpool and he has hit the ground running with 17goals in 21 matches in the premier league so far.
For the female category, Super Falcons forward Asisat Oshoala won her third Women’s Player of the Year prize, beating Cameroon’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Chrestina Kgatlana of South Africa.
“It’s been truly an emotional journey through 2017,” an emotional Oshoala said after picking her award. “I must say this is one of the special moment in my career because when I left Arsenal and moved to China a lot of people said that, Asisat your career is going to be gone but I told myself that I can do this and I think I have done that. I want to use this opportunity to encourage all the young girls do not let anyone talk you down, don’t listen to anyone, just follow your heart.”
Other winners included:
Youth Player of the Year
Patson Daka (Zambia, Liefering/AUT)
Coach of the Year
Hector Cuper (Egypt)
Club of the Year
Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year