Salah retains top Africa award to seal great day for Egypt

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The Egyptian received the accoladeat a ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, on Tuesday evening, where he was also included in the Africa Best XI for 2018 alongside Mane and Naby Keita.

"My thanks go to my family, my team-mates and my fans and I dedicate this trophy to my homeland, Egypt".

Salah enjoyed a record-breaking 2017/18 campaign, scoring 32 goals in the Premier League and 44 across all competitions. Hours earlier, his country had been awarded the hosting rights for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after the CAF had stripped original hosts Cameroon of the honour.

With the win, the Liverpool superstar retains the award he won a year ago to become the first North African to win the prestigious diadem back-to-back.

Salah beat off competition from Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane as well as Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to scoop the award.

Ironically, Aubameyang has scored one league goal more than Salah, topping the charts with Tottenham Hotspur and England star Harry Kane on 14.

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Later, playing for Chelsea in a League Cup tie, the Egyptian was so off-target with a goal attempt that the ball trickled over the touchline for a throw-in. It was the Pharaohs' first appearance at a global finals in 28 years.

In the Women category, Thembi Kgatlana was voted as African Women's Player of the Year 2018 ahead of the Nigerian duo of Oshoala and Francisca Ordega.

The Liverpool forward become the fourth player to win back-to-back awards after El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto'o and Yaya Toure.

After accepting his award, the 26-year-old striker looked shocked as the event organisers in Senegal brought up a live band to lay.

Mauritania edged Uganda and fellow AFCON debutantes Madagascar for the Men's National Team of the Year award.