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Salah took the award with 625 points, surpassing two other finalists: Senegal's Sadio Mane (507) and Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (311).

Salah helped Egypt reach the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations final in 2017.

After 26 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions, Salah has scored 23 goals and registered eight assists.

"It was very hard to explain that moment to qualify to the World Cup after 28 years", he said at the awards ceremony in Ghana.

The 25-year old pacey striker rose to stardom in his country after qualifying the Pharaohs to their first World Cup since 1990.

"I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing".

"This is a big award for me, a special moment in my career".

Sadio Mane
Getty Sadio Mane rejects talk of a fallout with Mohamed Salah

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Aubameyang was Bundesliga top scorer with 31 goals last season, holding off Bayern Munich and Poland ace Robert Lewandowski.

An emotional and proud Salah spared a few words and dedicated his award to the kids in Africa.

Salah scored both goals, including the injury-time victor, in the 2-1 win over Republic of Congo in October that sealed Egypt's place at the World Cup.

The annual event also aims to encourage and enhance the performances of sports persons to maintain the high standard and quality of football administration and management in Africa.

"Referees already have their rewards and marks of recognition".