Egypt's Mo Salah in line to retain BBC's African award

Ahram Online , Saturday 17 Nov 2018

Mohamed Salah
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Fulham, at Anfield Stadium, in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 (AP)

Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is in line to retain the BBC African Player of the Year award after being named in the British corporation's final five-man shortlist for the prize on Saturday.

Salah, who had a stellar year, will vie with Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal, Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia (Morocco), Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) and Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey (Ghana) for the award.

The 26-year-old finished as the Premier League's top scorer last season with a record 32 goals in a 38-game top-flight campaign and helped propel Liverpool to a place in the European Champions League final for the first time since 2007.

He won the BBC award last year for leading Egypt to a place at the World Cup finals for the first time in 28 years as well as enjoying a dream start with Liverpool in the first half of the 2017/18 season.

Salah is favourite to become the first player to scoop the award for two consecutive years since former Nigeria playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha, who won it in 2001 and 2002.

Two other Egyptian players have clinched the prize since it was introduced in 1992 -- Ahly duo Mohamed Barakat and Mohamed Abou-Treika in 2005 and 2008 respectively.

The award is decided by fan votes. The winner will be announced on 14 December.

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