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Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah named PFA Player of the Year!

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been named as the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year for the 2017-18 season.

The Egypt international saw off competition from the Manchester City trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sané and David Silva to become the second African player to win the award after Riyad Mahrez of Leicester in 2016. Tottenham’s Harry Kane came third, with De Bruyne second. Salah, who moved to Anfield from Roma last June for a club record fee of £36.9m, has scored 40 goals in his debut season as Jürgen Klopp’s side have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Salah was presented with the award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Sunday evening, with City’s winger Sané voted as young player of the year.

Fran Kirby
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 Chelsea’s Fran Kirby was named women’s player of the year. Photograph: Barrington Coombs/PA

“It’s an honour to win this award especially because it was voted for by the other players,” said Salah. “I would like to thank my team-mates and everyone at the club for helping me to make this happen.”

Asked what it meant to become the first Egyptian to win the award, he said: “Hopefully I’m not the last one. I’m very proud to win and I’ve worked very hard.”

Fran Kirby, who played in Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat in the first leg of the Women’s Champions League semi-final on Sunday, won the women’s player of the year award. Bristol City’s Lauren Hemp was named young player of the year. The PFA’s Merit award went posthumously to Cyrille Regis, the former West Brom forward who died aged 59 in January. The award was recognition of Regis’ pioneering role in changing attitudes towards black footballers in England.

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While not unexpected given his stunning debut season at Anfield, Salah faced strong competition from the Belgium international De Bruyne, who has been the standout player for the champions.

Speaking after their 5-0 victory over Swansea on Sunday, Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, had backed his midfielder for the award. “If he doesn’t win, then congrats to the guy that wins,” he said. “But in my opinion there is no player better than him in terms of continuity, every three days, competitions, three days. Maybe the numbers say someone is better than him but this season there has been no one better than him. That’s my opinion but players can have another one. But in the end, in the summertime, we will be at home being champions.”

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