Mohamed Salah has been hailed as African football’s greatest ever player by Mohamed Elneny, with the Arsenal midfielder ranking the Liverpool “legend” above the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure.
A prolific presence at Anfield is doing his best to justify that lofty billing, with 119 goals recorded through 191 appearances for the reigning Premier League champions.
His exploits have cemented a standing among the global elite and fellow Egyptian Elneny believes the 28-year-old should be considered the finest talent to ever emerge from the continent that he calls home.
What has been said?
Elneny has, after seeing Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, El-Hadji Diouf and Frederic Kanoute included on a shortlist of African talent from which to select, told Arsenal’s official YouTube channel: “Mohamed Salah is a legend now in Egypt and he’s still playing.
“We know that legends are usually when they finish their careers but when they’re still playing and people look at you as a legend this is something big.
“He’s a really good guy.
“Toure, because he’s a midfielder I know what he’s doing and I know how it’s different, because it’s more difficult than a striker. Strikers get the chance to score all the time and midfielders have to do so many things.
“But of course I go for Mohamed Salah!”
Who has won the most African Player of the Year awards?
The CAF Player of the Year award has existed in its current guise since 1992, having previously been handed out by France Football alongside their Ballon d’Or prize that was given to the best player in Europe.
Liverpool star Mane is the current holder of the gong, having prevented Salah from completing a notable hat-trick of top-spot finishes.
Man City icon Toure won the award on four successive occasions between 2011 and 2014, while Eto’o and Diouf are the only other men to have gone back-to-back in the modern era.
Ex-Barcelona striker Eto’o has four prizes to his name, ranking him alongside Toure at the top of a notable awards chart, while AC Milan great George Weah and Ghanaian legend Abedi Pele have three gongs apiece.
Former Chelsea frontman Drogba took the award on two occasions during his distinguished career, as did Diouf, one-time Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu and evergreen Cameroon star Roger Milla.
By Chris Burton
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