Mohamed Salah nets second African Footballer of the Year title

Egypt and Liverpool soccer star Mohamed Salah has picked up the Confederation of African Football's top player award for a second successive year. The Bundesliga's Achraf Hakimi was honored in the youth player category.

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah bagged the African Footballer of the Year title for the second year running on Tuesday, at the Confederation of African Football's awards ceremony in Dakar.

"This award is very big for me, I love it because I saw it when I was young and I always had a dream to win it one day," Salah said as he collected his trophy at the ceremony in the Senegalese capital.

"I'm proud to win it twice, I must thank my family and my teammates, and I dedicate this award to my country, Egypt."

Free-scoring Salah helped Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool reach the 2018 Champions League final, but he suffered a shoulder injury early on in the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in Kyiv. He scored twice for Egypt in the World Cup in Russia, though the side exited in the first round.

The 26-year-old is the fourth player to win the award twice consecutively, after Senegal's El Hadji Diouf, Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o, and Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure.

Salah edged ahead of his Liverpool teammate, Senegalese winger Sadio Mane, who finished second in the voting by technical directors and chief coaches of all 56 of the confederation's member associations. To complete a top-three sweep for the Premier League, Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, of Arsenal and formerly Borussia Dortmund, clinched third place. Salah finished ahead of the same two players last year.

Read more: Jürgen Klopp reminds Liverpool of glory days

Salah's victory was the second piece of good news for Egyptian football on Tuesday. Egypt also pipped South Africa for the hosting rights to this year's Africa Cup of Nations, after Cameroon was stripped of the tournament last year amid planning and safety concerns.

Kgatlana, Hakimi also honored

Meanwhile, African Women's Player of the Year was South African forward Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana.

US-based Thembi Kgatlana, who plays for Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League, won player of the tournament and was highest goal scorer in the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations.

Although the Premier League dominated the senior men's awards, Germany's Bundesliga did get a look in when it came to Youth Player of the Year, with the award going to Borussia Dortmund's Achraf Hakimi.

The Spanish-born Moroccan national team player, who started his senior career with Real Madrid, has impressed with his versatility, being capable of playing as a winger, full-back and central defender.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

The prize

This is what they're playing for: the European Cup, the greatest accolade in club football. Real Madrid are vying for their third in a row while Liverpool are chasing a sixth, having last lifted it in 2005 after a memorable comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul. It's been billed as the Mohamed Salah vs Cristiano Ronaldo final.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

Salah's night ends early

A distraught Mo Salah, Liverpool's star man and leading scorer this season, is comforted by Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as he leaves the Champions League final early. An ugly tangle with Sergio Ramos was to blame and Liverpool are dealt a huge early blow in Kyiv.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

Carvajal also goes off

There were more tears when Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal is helped off the field. Like Salah, the Spain right back's World Cup is now in doubt after a bad-looking injury that saw him limp straight down the tunnel covering his face.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

First blood to Real

Karim Benzema celebrates the opener for Real Madrid, which came soon after half time. It was a freak goal by the Frenchman, which came when Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius attempted a quick throw to his teammate. But Benzema was alert to it and stuck out a leg, and managed to deflect the ball straight into the bottom corner. Delight for Benzema, a nightmare for Karius.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

All square

Against the odds, Liverpool level the game through Sadio Mane. He times his lunge to perfection to toe Dejan Lovren's header from a corner beyond Keylor Navas in the Real Madrid goal. At 1-1, Liverpool were back in the game and an unlikely comeback is suddenly on the cards.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

Allez Allez Allez

The Liverpool fans, who outnumbered their Real Madrid counterparts at least two-to-one, are in fine voice again after Mane's strike. The songs 'Allez Allez Allez' and club anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' ring around the Olimpiyskiy Stadium as Liverpool try to mount a fightback.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

Bale wonderstrike

But Gareth Bale, a second half substitute for Isco, puts Real Madrid back in front with one of the most sensational goals ever seen in a Champions League or European Cup final. Out of nothing, the Welshman emulates his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's strike in the quarterfinal against Juventus with an outlandish bicycle kick that turns the game back in Real's favor.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

Karius blunder again

Real Madrid are now 3-1 up and it's Bale again, but it's another depressing moment for Liverpool's German keeper Loris Karius. The former Mainz keeper takes his eye off the ball and lets Bale's shot, which was more or less straight at him, slip through his fingers and into the back of the net. A horrible moment for Karius on the biggest stage.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

King Zizou

It's all over and Real Madrid are led to glory again by Zinedine Zidane, who becomes the first coach to win three consecutive Champions League titles. The hallmark of Zidane's success has been stability and continuity, with the Frenchman naming the exact same starting 11 as a year ago in Cardiff, where Real Madrid defeated Juventus.

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: The key moments from the final

Lucky 13

Real Madrid lift their third consecutive European Cup to cap a period of European dominance not seen since Bayern Munich in the 1970s, who also won three in a row. It's the 13th time this famous club have won Europe's elite club prize and they will be heavy favorites to make it four next season.