Liverpool star Mohamed Salah makes history as he is named the Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.
Salah narrowly beat Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to the prize by a margin of less than 20 votes. The ballot was of over 400 FWA members.
The Egyptian forward has scored 43 goals in all competitions this term. He makes history as he becomes the first African player ever to collect the accolade.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane finished third in the vote as the results were unveiled on 1 May. ‘It’s been the tightest call since 1968/69, when there was a dead heat between Tony Book of Manchester City and Derby’s Dave Mackay,’ FWA Chairman Patrick Barclay said.
‘Mo Salah’s relentless match-winning form, exemplified by his two great goals against Roma, seems to have swung the vote by a very narrow margin.
‘What a race it has been between two players who, in a relatively short time, have reached genuine world class. But Mo Salah is the worthiest of winners.
‘He is also the first African to receive the award and we congratulate him on a magnificent season.’
Asked about Salah after Liverpool’s defeat of Roma, Jurgen Klopp said: ‘If you think he’s the best in the world, write it or say it. ‘He is in outstandingly good shape, in world-class shape, 100 per cent. That’s good.
‘To be the best in the world you need to do that over a longer period, I think. There are a few others who are not too bad.
‘He is a fantastic player and I am really happy to have him.’