02 May, 2018
Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has been voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association (FWA) to complete the double of English football's major individual awards. Salah will be presented with his trophy at the 2018 FWA Footballer of the Year dinner, to be held at the Landmark Hotel in London on May 10.
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Belgium global De Bruyne had been considered the favourite for both awards for much of the season, but Salah's consistent and remarkable goal-scoring form has just given him the edge, winning by 20 votes.
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"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", Barclay told Footballwriters.co.uk.
The Egypt star becomes the first African ever to be handed the accolade as he saw off the threat of De Bruyne by less than 20 votes in a ballot which involved over more than 400 FWA members.
Egypt's Minister for Youth and Sports, Khaled Abd Abdel-Aziz reportedly made a tweet a few hours after Mo Salah's, probably as a reply to his. 25-year-old Salah has scored 31 League goals in 34 league appearances for Liverpool this season and leads the race for the Premier League golden boot. "He is also the first African to receive the award and we congratulate him on a magnificent season".