Mohamed Salah’s spectacular season received the ultimate recognition on Sunday night when he was named as the Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year.
The Liverpool forward edged the vote ahead of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne after scoring 41 goals in his first year at Anfield. Leroy Sane’s exceptional season with Manchester City saw him clinch the Young Player of the Year award. Salah became the seventh Liverpool player to win the award and the first since Luis Suarez in 2014.
The 25-year-old is favourite to win the Golden Boot and could also add the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award to his haul, but his immediate priority is the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final against his old club Roma on Tuesday.
‘It’s a big honour. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,’ said Salah, who became the first Egyptian to win the award. ‘Hopefully I’m not the last one! I’m very proud to win and I’ve worked very hard.’
Speaking on the stage, he said: ‘It’s an honour to be the Player of the Year for the Premier League, especially as it’s voted for by the players.’
‘I think from day first I left the Premier League, it was always in my mind that I wanted success here. I didn’t get the chance at Chelsea so I was clear in my mind that I would return. I think I left and then I came back as a different person, a different man and a different player.’
After scoring in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at West Brom, Salah equalled the record Suarez shares with Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo for 31 goals in a 38-game Premier League season.
And the Egyptian wants to make that feat his own and better their tallies in Liverpool’s remaining three games.
He said: ‘To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over the world. I want to break this record and also break the one for (42-game season). Let’s see what will happen.’