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Mohamed Salah and Tarek Hamed have made the final three-man shortlist for the 2019 CAF African Player of the Year and Interclubs Player of the Year awards.
Salah has had an incredible year with Liverpool which saw the 27-year-old win the UEFA Champions League title in June and the UEFA Super Cup two months later.
The Egyptian also claimed the Premier League golden boot and was named as the best player in the Club World Cup after guiding the Reds to the title over Flamengo.
This led to him being nominated for the African Player of the Year award alongside mane notable names, including Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kalidou Koulibaly, Hakim Ziyech, and Riyad Mahez.
However, on Sunday, the list was shortened to three names only, with Salah making the final list alongside his teammate Sadio Mane, and 2019 AFCON winner Riyad Mahrez.
It will be very difficult for Salah to retain the award this year as Mahrez and Mane have also had impressive years with their clubs and nations.
Man City winger Riyad Mahrez has helped his side win the domestic treble, the Premier League title, the FA Cup, and the EFL Cup, as well as guiding his country, Algeria, to a historic AFCON title.
Meanwhile, Mane led Senegal to the 2019 AFCON final, and alongside Salah won the Premier League golden boot, the UEFA Champions League title, UEFA Super Cup, and finally the Club World Cup.
The winner will be decided by head coaches/technical directors and captains of the senior national teams and will be announced at the CAF Awards in Egypt on January 7.
Meanwhile, in the African Interclubs Player of the Year award, Zamalek and Egypt midfielder Tarek Hamed has made the final three-man shortlist along with Youcef Belaili and Anice Badri.
31-year-old Hamed had been integral to Zamalek’s successful 2019 campaign, which saw them win the CAF Confederation Cup and the Egypt Cup.
Hamed’s teammates Ferjani Sassi and Mahmoud Alaa was also nominated, but failed to make the final list, as well as Al Ahly’s left-back Ali Maaloul.
Despite his successful year, Hamed is not the strongest candidate to win the award due to Anice Badri and Youcef Belaïli winning the league title, Tunisian Super Cup, and the CAF Champions League with Espérance de Tunis, with the Algerian having the upper hand after lifting the 2019 AFCON title with his country.
No Egyptian player has managed to win the African Inter-Club Player of the Year award since 2013, when Mohamed Aboutrika claimed it for the fourth time.
Mohamed Barakat and Ahmed Hassan have also won it once each for his performances with Al Ahly in 2005 and 2010 respectively.
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