Mohamed Salah receives African Footballer of the Year trophy

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah right celebrates after scoring his side's seventh goal during the Champions League Group E soccer match in Liverpool England

The Egypt forward scored the goal that secured his country a place at this year's World Cup, while he has been in superb form since signing for the Reds.

He had something to prove back in the Premier League when he joined Liverpool last summer and he showed what Chelsea are missing by netting 23 goals before the turn of the year in all competitions.

"I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing."

Salah beat Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane as well as Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the award at the CAF's ceremony in Ghana on Thursday.

Egypt's Argentine manager Hector Cuper has been named Coach of the Year while other honours have gone to Egypt (national team), South Africa (women's national team) and Wydad Casablanca (club). Liverpool play local rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round at on Friday (January 5).

Salah wins CAF African Footballer of the Year ahead of Mane, Aubameyang
Egyptian soccer star Mohamed Salah named African Player of the Year

Even so, following Mané's high-profile miss in last month's Merseyside derby, when the Senegal worldwide elected to shoot rather than tee-up Salah or two other team-mates, both players faced questions about their relationship in Accra. "To qualify to the World Cup after 28 years and to have a great season at Roma and Liverpool were special moments in my career", he said.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper, who will lead the Pharaohs at Russian Federation 2018 this summer, took home the coach of the year award, while his team also won the team of the year award.

The announcement was made at the 26th edition of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards gala held in Accra.

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