He began the night by drawing gasps from the delighted guests and ended it by walking off with the GQ Middle East Man of the Year award.
There could only be one winner, Mohamed Salah.
“Mo I’m going to be perfectly frank with you, I’ve spent a week, which was a really busy week, trying to write a speech for you,” GQ Middle East Editor-in-Chief Adam Baidawi said. “Everything feels like a waste of words, because there’s nothing that needs to be said about you my friend. You are an Arab talent for whom words don’t need to be expressed to understand.”
Over the last two years Salah’s career has seen him lead Egypt to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, finish top of the English Premier League goalscoring charts twice, win several other individual awards and score the opening goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid.
He is now mentioned in the same breath as elite football superstars Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Every single person in this room is so proud of your accomplishments and I will not waste any more time saying that Mohamed Salah, you are GQ Middle East 2019 Man of the Year,” Baidawi added.
A smiling Salah received the trophy from ITP Media CEO Ali Akwai, before answering a few questions from the Editor-in-Chief.
What does it mean to him to be win this award?
“I’m very happy to be the first one to get Man of the Year,” Salah said. “I have to thank GQ for that and I have to thank everyone here.”
Salah was the star of GQ Middle East’s third cover in December 2018, his photo shoot proving a hit with many readers.
“I have one thing on my mind,” Baidawi said. “Is there anyone you would like to dedicate this word to?”
It was no surprise he would acknowledge his 100 million strong army of home fans.
“I’d like to dedicate this award to my fans everywhere, especially those who are in Egypt… who always support me everywhere,” Salah said. “Everywhere I go I feel the love and support from them, I have to dedicate this award for them.”
Salah ended the night by joining other winners like Alessandra Ambrosio and Mena Massoud, as well as VIP guests, at Abu Dhabi Edition for the GQ Middle East Men of the Year after-party.