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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Mohamed Salah Museum: Egypt's surprise for Africa's best player

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 9 Jan 2019
Liverpool
Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah (afp)
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Coinciding with Mohamed Salah's second successive award for best African football player on Tuesday, Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy said that Egypt is constructing a museum to be named after the international football star.

The Liverpool forward beat back competition from club teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scooping the award for the second year in a row at the expense of the same duo.

"The surprise that I was preparing for Salah is the construction of a museum bearing his name at the Gezira Youth Centre in Cairo," Sobhy said in a statement late on Tuesday.

"Salah is delivering outstanding performances with both Liverpool and the national team. All Egyptians are proud of his achievements," the minister added.

Salah is the first Egyptian to be named Africa's best player twice and the sixth in the continent to win back-to-back awards after Ghana's Abedi Pele, Liberia's George Weah, Senegal's El-Hadji Diouf, Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o and Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure.

Ahly's football icon Mahmoud Al-Khatib is the only other Egyptian to have won the prestigious prize back in 1983.

Salah was rewarded for another stellar year that saw him finish as the Premier League's top scorer with a record haul of 32 goals. He netted a staggering 44 goals in all competitions and helped the Reds reach the UEFA Champions League final.

Salah's extraordinary season also saw him win the Premier League's best player award from both the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers' Association, along with the Premier League's Golden Boot award.

"I hope that winning this year's title [for Africa's best player] will be a big boost for Salah to continue his achievements and to deliver more outstanding performances at the club level as well as with the national team in the African Cup of Nations in Egypt next June," the sports minister said.

The 26-year-old made a slow start in the current season compared to the previous one, but he bounced back quickly with a series of superb displays, finishing the year with 13 Premier League goals, just one short of the competition's leading scorers Aubameyang and Tottenham's Harry Kane.

Salah played an instrumental role in guiding the Pharaohs to the 2017 African Cup of Nations final, which they lost. The team also reached the 2018 World Cup for the first time since 1990, where they were eliminated from the first round.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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