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The prestigious BBC African Footballer of The Year Award is back and this time, Liverpool have two players up for nomination – Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. The duo is joined by Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Chelsea’s Victor Moses and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita and so the competition seems to be tough. However, Jurgen Klopp’s men are tipped to be the favourites at this point.
If the choice does come down to the two of them, who should win?
Sadio Mane has been on fire for both Liverpool and Senegal in 2017. He also made it to the Ballon d’Or shortlist, which in itself is a tremendous feat. The player shone through as Senegal reached their first World Cup since 2002. In fact, Mane played a key role providing 2 assists as his country trounced off to a 2-0 win.
However, he did have a miss and a mighty big one, in the quarter-final penalty shootout of the Africa Cup of Nations. That cost them the game but the player did not let that affect him and he fought on. He was Liverpool’s strongest attacker last season and continues to be strong this season as well, despite injury setbacks.
He was their second top-scorer last season and played an influential role in helping the Reds qualify for the Champions League.
Salah scripted history for Egypt in October as he saw his country through to their first World Cup in over a quarter of a century. Egypt had not reached the prestigious tournament since 1990 and when Salah netted that decisive goal, the entire nation erupted in joy.
He was influential for Egypt even on the road. Salah scored 5 of the 7 World Cup qualifying goals that took them to next summer’s tournament, and his incredible form has not been only for his country. Salah has been tremendously impressive for Liverpool.
Ever since he joined the club in June, Salah has established himself as a firm fan favourite. He scored on his debut for the Reds and he has scored 7 goals in 11 league appearances so far.
This is the first time Salah has been nominated for BBC African Footballer of the Year award, and it might just be the year where he might win it – at least when compared to Mane. Granted, Mane has been prolific but Salah has created history.
Mane’s growth has been a bit limited after a red card and an injury this season but Salah continues to go from strength-to-strength for his club and his country. So, can he become the first Egyptian to win it since Mohamed Aboutrika in 2008? Only time will tell. But chances are that he might!