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Mohamed Salah may not have been beaten Lionel Messi to the Ballon d'Or, but he was at least recognised at another ceremony on Monday.
At the Champions Gala in Monaco, Liverpool's standout player was awarded the Golden Foot Award, given annually to a new footballer aged over 28 who has contributed excellently to the game as both a team player and an individual.
It is further acknowledgement of his truly outstanding form since joining Liverpool where he has totally changed perceptions that he was a flop during his last period in the Premier League with Chelsea.
Salah couldn't make the trip personally, but his wife picked up the coveted prize on his behalf.
On his win, he said: "I am always very happy when I win an award.
"The Golden Foot Award has a special meaning for me, because it has been won by many legends of world football. For this reason, I consider it a truly special award."
And so he should. Winners must be over 28 years of age and can only win it once.
Remarkably, 34-year-old Lionel Messi has never been given the award, and Salah pipped the Argentine to the trophy this year. He also saw off stiff competition from the likes of Neymar, Robert Lewandowski and Sergio Ramos.
Winners of the Golden Foot Award: pic.twitter.com/e5iT74RXIS- Haydee F #ThisIsOurShot #IStandWithTrudeau:mask::cherry_blossom::syringe: (@HaydeeF14) December 1, 2020
The Golden Foot was first handed out in 2003, when Roberto Baggio took it home with him. Since then, the likes of Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo have claimed the gong.
"Italy lead the way with four previous winners, while an Englishman has never won the award.
2021 winner Salah has made an exceptional start to the 2021/22 Premier League season, hitting 11 goals and adding eight assists in just 13 games so far. Liverpool sit third in the league, just two points off the leaders Chelsea.
By Dom Smith
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