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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah named FWA Player of the Year to complete individual awards double

Egyptian forward has been in scintillating form for Liverpool this season, scoring 43 goals to help his team reach the Uefa Champions League semi-finals

Mohamed Salah has two games remaining to break the Premier League record for most goals in a 38-game season. Phil Noble / Reuters
Mohamed Salah has two games remaining to break the Premier League record for most goals in a 38-game season. Phil Noble / Reuters

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was on Tuesday named Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association to go with his PFA Player of the Year award.

The 25-year-old Egyptian, who has scored 43 goals in all competitions this season, is the first African player to win the Football Writers’ award.

Salah has helped Liverpool reach the Uefa Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 10 years, and his two-goal performance in the 5-2 first-leg victory over Roma has put his club on the brink of the final. Liverpool face Roma in the return fixture in Italy tonight looking to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

Salah is also poised to break the record for most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season, having equalled the current mark with 31 goals jointly shared by Alan Shearer, Luis Suarez, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Liverpool’s final two Premier League fixtures are against Chelsea away and Brighton & Hove Albion at home.

Salah will head to the World Cup in Russia next month to play for Egypt who have been drawn with the hosts, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in Group A.

Yesterday’s announcement sees Salah complete a personal double, having last month been named the 2017/18 Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year, finishing ahead of Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane in the vote of their peers.

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Salah will be presented with the 2018 FWA Footballer of the Year trophy at The Landmark London on May 10.

FWA chairman Patrick Barclay said: “It has been the tightest call since 1968/69, when there was a dead heat between Tony Book of Manchester City and Derby’s Dave Mackay.

“Right up to the last week or so we thought it might happen again, so strong was the support for Kevin de Bruyne, but Mo Salah’s relentless match-winning form, exemplified by his two great goals against Roma, seems to have swung the vote by a very narrow margin.

“What a race it has been between two players who, in a relatively short time, have reached genuine world class, but Mo Salah is the worthiest of winners.”

Barclay added on the FWA website: “He is also the first African to receive the award and we congratulate him on a magnificent season.”

Other players to receive votes from FWA members were, in alphabetical order: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Nick Pope (Burnley), David Silva (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) and Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).

Chelsea and England forward Fran Kirby was last week announced as the inaugural FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year, which will be presented during the same gala dinner.

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