Egyptian Mohammed Salah, who led the Pharaohs to pip Ghana to a qualifying place for the 2018 World Cup, has been voted as the 2o17 BBC African Footballer of the Year.
Salah pipped Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Naby Keita to win the award for the first time in his career.
Salah succeeds Algerian and Leicester City winger Riyadh Mahrez, who won the accolade last year.
“I am very happy to win this award,” the 25-year-old told BBC Sport.
“It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.”
Salah has had a spectacular year, leading Egypt to qualify for her first World Cup since 1990 and emerging as the top goalscorer in a league consisting of the likes of Sergio Aguero, Romelo Lukaku and Harry Kane.
The BBC African Footballer of the Year award is an initiative by the British Broadcaster to award the best in African football every year. It runs parallel to CAF’s own African Footballer of the Year award but its format depends exclusively on votes by fans.
Four Ghanaian players have won the award since its inception — Sammy Kuffour in 2001, Michael Essien in 2006, Asamoah Gyan in 2010 and Andre Dede Ayew in 2011.