LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 22, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (right) celebrates with Sadio Mane only to see his goal disallowed during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by Jon Super/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane & Naby Keita pick up prestigious awards as best of Africa

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita all picked up honours at the Confederation of African Football awards for 2018, in Dakar on Tuesday night.

The Liverpool trio are among the biggest stars of their continent, with Salah, Mane and Keita talismans for the Egypt, Senegal and Guinea national teams respectively.

Salah and Mane’s efforts at club level ensure a particular distinction, however, as they both played a big role in the Reds’ road to the Champions League final last season.

Mane scored in every round of Europe’s top-tier tournament, netting 10 in 11 games, in a season that saw him score 20 and assist nine in 44 games in all competitions, while so far this season he has nine goals and three assists in 26.

Meanwhile, Salah made a habit of breaking records in his 44-goal maiden campaign on Merseyside, and it was his withdrawal due to a shoulder injury that effectively that led to Liverpool’s defeat in Kyiv.

And though Keita did not hit the heights of his previous campaign with RB Leipzig, the 23-year-old was still hugely influential at the Red Bull Arena before his £52.75 million move in the summer.

These efforts last year have been acknowledged as all three have been named in the Africa Best XI for 2018 at the CAF awards.

They are joined by the likes of former Reds target Kalidou Koulibaly, Man City‘s Riyad Mahrez and Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Perhaps more importantly, Salah beat both Mane and Aubameyang to secure his second consecutive African Player of the Year award.

“I have dreamt of winning this award since I was a child and now I have done so twice in a row,” he said at the ceremony in Senegal.

The Egyptian King was also named the BBC African Footballer of the Year in December, again his second in a row, beating Mane, Koulibaly, Medhi Benatia and Thomas Partey to the prize.

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