Mo Salah won the PFA Player of the Year award after an ultimately disappointing season with Liverpool.
The Egyptian took part in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in what he hoped would be a chance for revenge after previously losing against the same opponents in 2018.
However Jurgen Klopp’s men lost 1-0 at the Stade de France, exacerbating a miserable end to the season after missing out on the Premier League on the last day of the season.
Salah equalled his record from last year of scoring 31 times 51 appearances for his club, winning the League Cup and FA Cup along the way, and he also reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of 2022.
The 29-year-old Egyptian is currently engaged in a transfer stand-off with his club. He has one year left on his current deal but has been linked with a free transfer move to Barcelona, and other clubs, at the end of the forthcoming season.
Salah said of winning the award for the second time: “Thank you very much, It’s always great to win a trophy. It’s big, very happy and very proud of it
“This is really good one to win, because it’s voted by players so when I think about it, of course I want the Premier League before everything, the Champions League as well. The Individual award shows you get what you work for. The team comes first, but winning the journalist and players one shows you played really good.”
Salah has left room for his cabinet for more awards.
“I had a space for one more. I kept two spaces, for the Golden Boot,” he admitted. ”I’m always keeping space and imagining the trophies are coming.”
The forward is trying to bring more to his game and he explained his approach to improving as he gets older.
“When you’re young, the excitement takes you away, but when you’re older you’re more stable,” he said. “You deal better with the pressure. You know what you want from football. You’re more aware of the game, so you try to make the people next to you better and yourself better.”
Salah’s manager Jurgen Klopp said: “It’s voted by the players, it’s’ the one you should be interested in. In Mo’s case it’s the numbers, scoring goals, but scoring the most goals and the most assists with all the ups and downs in a season – that’s a deserved winner.
“I saw that when we scouted him, we said he was not the finishing monster we see now. We spoke, a very good talk, but we all need longer to know about a person. We knew he would be outstanding when I knew him as a person, because he was a workhorse. He’s always the first in and last out.
“He deserves it absolutely, so that’s why he’s a second time winner. Well deserved, Mo.”
Kevin De Bruyne missed out after an exceptional season with Manchester City.
The 30-year-old Belgian, already a two-time winner of the award, enjoyed his best return in front of goal for the club as he notched 19 goals on the way to another Premier League title under Pep Guardiola.
While City were unable to progress to the Champions League final after losing out to Real Madrid in dramatic circumstances, De Bruyne was once again at the heart of his club’s league success.
The other nominees were Salah’s team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, as well as Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Spurs’ Harry Kane.
The women’s award was won by Chelsea and Australia star Sam Kerr after a league-winning season.
“It’s an amazing feeling. We’ve been chasing all year, to end up on top is amazing,” she said of her team’s dramatic late ascent to win the title.
Explaining how she was at the heart of crucial moments of the season, she said: “I think it’s all mental, those moments, I think in those moments it’s those who can stay calmest. I just have belief in myself. Knowing that my team trusts me gives me confidence.”
The PFA Young Player of the Year award went to City midfielder Phil Foden, winning against a shortlist of Chelsea duo Reece James and Conor Gallagher (with the latter on loan at Crystal Palace last season), Aston VIlla’s Jacob Ramsey and Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.
Lauren Hemp of Manchester City was named Women’s PFA Young Player of the Year.