Jurgen Klopp believes beating Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne to the PFA Players' Player of the Year award shows just how "special" Mohamed Salah's debut Liverpool season has been.
De Bruyne had been considered the favourite for the award for much of the campaign given his remarkable form for runaway Premier League leaders City, scoring eight and setting up another 15.
But Salah ultimately pipped him to it on Sunday, with the Egyptian's incredible first season at Liverpool earning the respect and votes of his peers.
Signed from Roma in pre-season, Salah has equalled the Premier League record for goals in a single 38-game season with his haul of 31 and still has three games to surpass it.
But Klopp has demanded the Egypt star keeps his focus, as he prepares for a date with his former club Roma in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
Klopp has arrived #LFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 23, 2018
On PFA POTY Mohamed Salah: “It's fantastic, I’m really happy for him. It’s a fantastic achievement [but] the season is not finished yet. I really think it’s well deserved.”
Watch live and free: https://t.co/fRCf4TEyVW pic.twitter.com/z25ZSvsMtD
"Fantastic, really happy for him," Klopp told reporters at his news conference. "He can be really proud of that – a fantastic achievement. If all the other players vote for you it means the most to players.
"I didn’t speak to him after, but he will be back today. It's great, but the season is not finished so far. There are a lot of things to come, but I'm sure it's a nice boost for him.
"When Kevin De Bruyne plays a season like he plays, it makes it more special. The players know how difficult it is to score that many goals and be involved in that many, so I think it's well deserved."
Klopp was quick to credit Tuesday's opponents Roma for Salah's impact in England, highlighting the role they played in his development.
Though he also warned Salah to expect some rough treatment, hopeful the attacker can "strike back".
"It [changing club] is pretty normal in football," Klopp said. "Players and managers change club, like I did with Dortmund about two years ago.
"It's a normal game, but it feels quite special. You know more about the opposition than usual, and you're more interested in them than they usually are. I'm sure he follows them still.
Klopp on Salah playing against his former club: "It's pretty normal in football, players and managers change clubs - I had it when we played Dortmund. But yes it feels quite special." #LFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 23, 2018
Watch live and free: https://t.co/fRCf4TEyVW pic.twitter.com/2jWiGQMKBm
"It's a big, big credit to all the players and staff at Roma, because they're part of his development.
"I'm pretty sure Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games. He will feel early in the game that they are not his team-mates any more, then he can strike back in a footballing way."
|Mkhitaryan aiming for glory with Europa specialist Emery|
|Sarri: Pedro´s injury is not too serious|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Drama in Minnesota, a Judge returns and tragedy in Iowa|
|Tottenham will overcome rough patch – Lamela|
|Torreira impresses for Arsenal but leaves with knock|
|Gattuso urges Higuain to be less predictable with his movement|
|Steelers´ Brown: ´Obviously I don´t want to be traded´|
|Woods, Fowler share Tour Championship lead|
|LeBron James backs Serena Williams after US Open controversy|
|Thiem into St Petersburg quarters, but retiring Youzhny bows out|
|Wigan clinch home semi-final with win over Huddersfield|
|Can apologises following sexism accusations|
|De Bruyne expects to be back for Manchester derby|
|Celtic 1 Rosenborg 0: Griffiths late show lifts Hoops|
|Woods eagles 18 to make 65 at Tour Championship|
|Arsenal 4 Vorskla 2: Aubameyang at the double in entertaining triumph|
|Dudelange 0 AC Milan 1: Deflected Higuain goal spares Gattuso´s blushes|
|Birthday boy Rashid inspires Afghanistan to Asia Cup win|
|Sarri feeling sorry for ´unlucky´ Morata|
|Ryder Cup pick Garcia shoots 66 at Portugal Masters|
|Ronaldo, Zidane, Cantona and the most infamous red cards|
|Villarreal 2 Rangers 2: Arfield and Lafferty steal point for Gerrard´s men|
|PAOK 0 Chelsea 1: Willian strikes as Morata misfires|
|Rain delays Ostapenko in Seoul, Wang books Guangzhou semi|
|Pochettino backs Kane to end goal drought|
|We figured it out - 76ers´ Markelle Fultz rebuilds jump shot|
|Joshua: Povetkin my second-toughest fight|
|Relaxed Pochettino not pushing panic button|
|Why Manchester City fans must fix their relationship with the Champions League|
|Majestic Giorgi ends Wozniacki´s reign in Tokyo|
|Pochettino unwilling to risk Alli fitness|
|Bigger Champions League tests to come, warns Pogba|
|Eight for 10! - Nadeem spins his way to world-record figures|
|A 4-1 lead cut to 3-2 by VAR, but Quakes have no complaints after Atlanta defeat|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Ronaldo|
|Joshua v Povetkin: Recapping AJ´s previous world title defences|
|Players told to ink twice over showing tattoos at Rugby World Cup in Japan|
|Mariano targeting Spain call-up after goalscoring Madrid return|
|Pandya, Axar and Thakur out of Asia Cup|
|England omit Cipriani, Tuilagi and Ashton called up|
|Can reacts to Ronaldo´s red card: We are not women|
|One Year to Go: Five Rugby World Cup debutants set to shine|
|Shy Osaka not comfortable with new-found fame|
|Belgium and World Cup winners France make FIFA rankings history|
|Ronaldo wanted to impress - Bernardeschi sympathises after Juve superstar´s red|
|Van Dijk warns Liverpool: Believe we can win trophies or stay home|
|Menezes complains of anti-Brazilian conspiracy after Dede´s VAR red|
|Diamondbacks rout Cubs to remain in postseason picture|
|Modric embraces Ballon d´Or chants as Di Francesco backs Madrid star for award|
|MLS Review: Martinez helps Atlanta stage comeback amid VAR controversy|
|Kerevi recommits to Wallabies, Reds|
|Lyon to ban fan for life after footage of Nazi salute emerges|
|Milan must respect opponents – Gattuso not underestimating Dudelange|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Zarate leads Boca, River draw|
|Mourinho: Dalot can play at Man United for more than 10 years|
|Johnson hoping to erase East Lake demons|
|´No question´ Fitzgerald faces Bears, says Cardinals´ Wilks|
|Rodgers says roughing the passer penalties are ´going the wrong direction´|
|Ravens fined $200,000 for violating communication policy|
|LeBron James set to star in ´Space Jam´ sequel|
|Ronaldo red card ´absurd´, says Pjanic|
|Kovac hails ´special´ Sanches after Bayern goal|
|Marcelino: Tearful Ronaldo said he did nothing wrong|
|Fernandinho takes blame for Man City´s Lyon loss|
|Lovren denies any wrongdoing after perjury charge|
|Plzen boss Vrba slams late mistakes|
|I almost scored as many as Messi - Tagliafico the unlikely hero for Ajax|
|Ronaldo deserves Ballon d´Or not Modric, says Casemiro|
|United fan Rafael - I´ve never lost at City|
|Davis explains abrupt mid-game NFL retirement: ´Football is not for me´|