Accra, Ghana : Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) at its 2017 Awards ceremony in Accra today, crowned Eqypt and Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah as African Player of the Year 2017 for the first time while Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala is women’s player of the Year for the third time.
Mohammed Sallah won the award for the first time thanks to his exploits for his English Premier League side and Egypt national team. He overcame competition from fellow finalists Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang .
The 25-year-old turned in a stunning campaign for Liverpool in 2017 as he scored 17 goals in 21 games after joining the English Premier League side from AS Roma.
On the international scene, he helped Egypt to a second place finish at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, including goals against Ghana and Burkina Faso. His brace against Congo in October helped the Pharaoh qualify for their first Fifa World Cup since 1990 to round off a sensational year.
The Caf Player of the Year award was initially pared down to a shortlist of 30. From there, Salah, Aubameyang and Mane were named the three finalists in December.
The winner of the award was selected by the current coaches and captain from every men’s national team in Africa.
Mohammed Sallah takes over from Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez who won the 2016 edition in Abuja. The last 2 African Footballer of the Year awards have been won by North African players: Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez, last time it happened before this was in 1986 & 1987 when Rabah Madjer and Badou Ezzaki won it.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala was named African Women Player of the year for the third time.
The 23-year-old was filled with emotions as she picked up her award at the 2017 African Footballer of the Year award ceremony held in Ghana.
Elated Oshoala dropped tears of joy as she emerged the winner in spite how tough and challenging the year 2017 was for her.
She said, “It really been an emotional journey through 2017, I must say this is one of the personal moment in my career because when I left Arsenal and moved to China a lot of people said that Asisat your career is going to be gone.”
But the elated former Liverpool and Arsenal Ladies forward was in tears of joy as she manages to make her remarks stating “But I told myself that I can do this. And I think I have done it.
She wins the award three times in a row. She, however, gave this advice for young African Girls,
The Nigerian football plays for Chinese side Dalian Quanjian F.C. in the Chinese Women’s Super League as a forward was named best player and was the highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
She was also named best player and the second top goalscorer with the Super Falcons team who won the 2014 African Women’s Championship.
Dubbed the ‘AITEO CAF AWARDS 2017.’ todays ceremony also awarded other personalities in football (soccer) over the last year.
The full list of winners on the night is as follows:
Egypt and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as 2017 African Player of the Year
2nd place – Sadio mane of Senegal and Liverpool
3rd place – Pierre Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Dortmund. Platinum award to Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo & Liberia president-elect George Weah
Female footballer of the year: Assisat Oshoola of Nigeria
National team of the year: Pharaohs of Egypt
Young African footballer of the year: Patson Daka (Zambia)
Coach of the Year: Hector Cuper of Egypt
Club of the year: Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco
Football Leader of the Year: Ahmed Yahya.
Women’s National Team Of The Year 2017: Bayana Bayana (South Africa)
CAF Legends Award: Ibrahim Sunday (Ghana)
It’s been 18 years since a Nigerian player, Kanu won the African Player of the Year award.
The striker won the award in 1999 thanks to his exploits in his debut year for Arsenal after joining the Premier League giants in February of that year.
Only four Nigerian players have won the CAF African Player of the Year award. Rashidi Yekini in 1993, Emmanuel Amunike in 1994, Kanu in 1996, 1999 and Victor Ikpeba in 1997.
Since Kanu won the award in 1999, only two Nigerian players, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha and John Mike Obi have made it to the final three.
Okocha finished runners-up in 1998 behind Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji and third in 2003 and 2004 behind Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon and Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba.
Jay Jay Okocha made the final three for the African Player of the Year three times
Mikel was runner-up when Ivory Coasts’ Yaya Toure won the award in 2003.