File Photo: Roma's midfielder from Egypt Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match AS Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen on November 4, 2015 (AFP)
Mohamed Salah was named as Egypt's best player in 2015 after emerging winner in a poll conducted by Al-Ahram Hebdo (Ahram's French publication), further enhancing his reputation as one of the finest Egyptian footballers to grace European football.
The 23-year-old gained 272 points in the vote featuring 53 football figures, officials, experts and critics in addition to reader votes after enjoying a year to remember to make up for a disappointing spell at English champions Chelsea and carve out a promising career in the Italian Serie A.
He beat off competition from former Basel teammate Mohamed Elneny, who came second with 200 points after his consistent displays in the Swiss league put him on the verge of a high-profile move to Chelsea's London rivals Arsenal.
Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly, who also had English spells with Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County, finished third following some inspiring performances with the Egyptian giants despite their failure to win a major trophy for the first time since 2004. He was also won the award's trophy for the best home-based player.
Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi, whose 18 goals propelled the Cairo club to their first Premier League title in 11 years and a double salvo gave them a 2-0 win over bitter rivals Ahly in the Egypt Cup final, came fourth while Portugal-based striker Ahmed Kouka, who joined Sporting Braga from Rio Ave in the off season, was fifth.
Blossoming at Fiorentina
Salah cut a forlorn figure at Chelsea in early 2015 and was clearly told that he did not feature in Jose Mourinho's plans for the rest of the season, prompting him to accept a short-term loan move to Fiorentina in the less illustrious Serie A.
He blossomed at the Artemio Franchi and quickly became a fan darling, thanks to the nine goals he had scored in all competitions, including six in 16 league appearances, plus his trickery and marauding runs which left opposing defenders trailing in his wake on many occasions.
One of his prominent highlights in the first half of the year was a stunning goal he scored in an Italian Cup clash against Juventus in March, picking up the ball in his own half before running half the length of the pitch, skipping past a challenger and rifling home past the keeper.
His stint at Fiorentina ended in an acrimonious manner though after he rejected the club's offer of a permanent deal in July, enraging their supporters.
After a protracted summer saga, he finally joined Roma where he made a fine start before a month-long injury he sustained in November hindered his progress. He scored six goals in all competitions with Roma - five in the Serie A and one in the Champions League - before the end of 2015.
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