Liverpool’s star forward Mohamed Salah, hailing from Egypt, has literally taken over Premier League owing to his footballing prowess and the burgeoning popularity that has emanated from it. Salah was signed by Liverpool in 2017, and has not stopped shattering records and making history ever since. And as a result, the 25-year-old ‘Egyptian King’ was named the FWA Footballer of the Year on Tuesday (1 May). This is not the first award for Mo Salah, but is definitely the most illustrious one so far. Let’s look at this in detail.
Mohamed Salah was named the PFA Player of the Year earlier this month, beating Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane to the award, which is decided upon by the media, and is scheduled to be given out during a reception in London on May 10.
The forward became the 11th Liverpool player to win the prestigious award, and the first since 2013-14 season, when Luis Suarez had claimed the double. Winning the silverware has made Salah join the greats such as Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes, Steven Gerrard, Steve Nicol, Ian Rush, Terry McDermott, Emlyn Hughes, Kevin Keegan and Ian Callaghan, all of whom won the award at least once in their career with the Reds.
Salah won the race with a narrow margin, becomes the first African to receive the honour
As reported by ESPN, FWA Chairman Patrick Barclay said, “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.”
“Right up to the last week or so we thought it might happen again, so strong was the support for Kevin de Bruyne, but 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.”
Other players who were in contention to grab a hold of the prize and who were receiving votes from FWA members, were; Manchester City trio Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Raheem Sterling, Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Mohamed Salah Footballer of the Year sounds absolutely right, Here is why
Salah had moved to Liverpool from AS Roma in July 2017, and has scored 31 Premier League goals in his debut season, equalling the veterans such as Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer for the most goals scored in a 38-game season.
The ‘Egyptian King’ did not score in the goalless draw against Stoke City on Saturday, and ended his excellent run of seven consecutive games across all competitions with at least one goal. Talk about red-hot form. Now Salah has two games remaining to equal the historic record of scoring 34 goals in a season, which was achieved by Andy Cole during a 42-game season in 1993-94.
While Salah is on the verge of breaking a historic footballing record, he has already broken another on, by scoring 43 goals in all competitions this season and becoming the first Liverpool player to reach the 40-goal mark since Ian Rush in 1986-87.
Liverpool are currently looking to make their first entry into Champions League final after 2007, when the Reds lost to AC Milan. It was thanks to Salah’s brace, that Liverpool won their first leg 5-2 against AS Roma, and it is the ‘Egyptian King’ only, who has made Liverpool and Salah fans hopeful that the Jurgen Klopp side would reign heavy on the Italian club in the 2nd leg as well, setting up the stage for a perfect and historic Champions League final.