Liverpool winger, Mohammed Salah has been rated very likely to join former Super Eagles’ captain, Nwakwo Kanu as a two-time winner of the prestigious African Footballer of The Year award next Tuesday.
Few weeks after equaling a back-to-back conquest of BBC African Player of The Year honours with another former Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Salah is now close to matching a similar feat by Kanu.
Footballlive.ng can report that Salah stands a big chance of becoming the latest two-time winner of the award at Tuesday’s ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, which will pull him level with Kanu (1996 and 1999).
However, should Egypt’s Salah be named ahead of Liverpool club-mate, Sadio Mane and 2015 winner, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal, he will go one better than Kanu as one of only four back-to-back winners.
Dramatically, also threatening to be a two-time winner like Kanu is the current top striker of his former club, Arsenal, Aubameyang from Gabon, who previously won the award in 2015.
A preview of Tuesday’s ceremony by CAF reads in part: “A repeat of last year, the three players will be hoping to begin the year with the crown of Player of the Year for their exploits in 2018.
“Gabonese icon Aubameyang, maintains his familiar status among the top three finalists since 2014, thus five times in a row and equaling the record of Ivorian legend Yaya Toure and Ghanaian midfield supremo Michael Essien.
“Four-time Player of the Year, Toure, achieved the feat (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and Essien (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
“The 29-year old (Aubameyang) will be hoping to lay his hands on the enviable crown a second time.
“Salah, 26, made history becoming the first Egyptian to be decorated Player of the Year since the inception of the awards scheme in 1992.
“It is the second time, he has made the final three and Salah has his eyes set on joining the elite league of players to win the honour back-to-back.
“Senegalese El Hadji Diouf (2001, 2002), Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon (2003, 2004) and Toure (2011, 2012) are the only three to win successive titles.
“It is a hat-trick for 26-year old Mane in the top three, coming third in 2016 and second in 2017.
“He will be hoping to be third time lucky and become the second Senegalese to win the topmost individual honour after Diouf.”