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Mohamed Salah LiverpoolEmbed from Getty Images


BBC African Footballer of the Year 2017: Mohamed Salah profile

Mohamed Salah may have scored over a century of goals but he will forever be remembered in Egypt for just one - the late strike against Congo in October that took the Pharaohs to their first World Cup in over a quarter of a century.

Egypt - African champions a record seven times - had not reached a World Cup since 1990, but Salah was given the chance to seal their place in Russia from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time with the score at 1:1.

The 25-year-old somehow ignored the crackling fever to slam home, sparking nationwide euphoria and prompting President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi to praise the forward's ability to handle the pressure of over 80 million expectant Egyptians.

The goal cemented his reign as King of the Pharaohs in 2017, with the team nicknamed 'Salah's Egypt' thanks to the winger often inspiring a limited side to the top.

Salah scored five of the seven World Cup qualifying goals that took Egypt to next summer's tournament.

He was equally impressive at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, where he earned a place in the team of the tournament after having a hand in four of Egypt's five goals - scoring twice - as the North Africans finished runners-up to Cameroon.

Salah's outstanding form has not been restricted to internationals.

After joining Liverpool from Roma in June, the start to his Anfield career could scarcely have gone better as he was named the club's player of the month in August and September.

A goal on his debut helped him rack up seven goals in his first 11 Premier League games, and he has fared even better in the Champions League, with five goals in six games.

Salah's superb start in England was a continuation of his fine form in Italy, where the diminutive player was a key figure in Roma's best league placing in seven years.

He scored 15 times and provided 11 assists in a league famed for its defending as Roma finished second, trailing champions Juventus by just four points.

This is the first time Salah has been nominated for BBC African Footballer of the Year and he would be the first Egyptian to win it since the legendary Mohamed Aboutrika in 2008.

 

26 Nov 2017
(BBC Sport UK)

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