LONDON - Soccer writers named Mohamed Salah footballer of the year on Tuesday, making it a personal double for the winner of the players' award for his incredible goal-scoring feats for Liverpool.
The Egypt international narrowly topped the poll of the 400-strong Football Writers' Association (FWA) membership ahead of Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, the margin understood to be less than 20 votes.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane was in third place.
Between them, Salah, signed by the Reds from Roma last summer, and De Bruyne, who helped City claim the Premier League title with five games remaining, collected more than 90 percent of the journalists' votes.
Salah, who struggled to make an impact during his first spell in England at Chelsea, has scored 43 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions in his first season for Liverpool.
He has spearheaded Jurgen Klopp's team's push towards a potential place in the Champions League final -- the Reds lead Roma 5-2 ahead of Wednesday's semi-final second leg in Italy.
The 25-year-old, who was last month crowned the players' player of the year, becomes the first African winner of the FWA accolade, which has been awarded since 1948.
"It has been the tightest call since 1968/69 when there was a dead heat between Tony Book of Manchester City and Derby's Dave Mackay," said FWA chairman Patrick Barclay.
"Right up to the last week or so we thought it might happen again, so strong was the support for Kevin De Bruyne, but Mo Salah's relentless match-winning form, exemplified by his two great goals against Roma, seems to have swung the vote by a very narrow margin."