Victor Osimhen and other Nigerian football stars shortlisted for the 2023 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards are scheduled to arrive in Marrakech, Morocco, on Sunday.
Victor Osimhen, the Super Eagles striker who is the favorite to win the coveted CAF Player of the Year award for the first time, is nominated for the prestigious honor with Egyptian captain Mohammed Salah and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi.
The 24-year-old has been in excellent form for Napoli in the last year, guiding the Serie A side to their first league victory in 33 years and scoring a league-high 26 goals in 32 Serie A games last season and 31 goals overall.
Following his impressive performance in Italy, Osimhen won the Serie A Best Striker, Paolo Rossi, and Italian Footballers’ Association Player of the Year awards.
Osimhen also finished eighth in the recent Ballon d’Or award shortlist and is in contention for the Globe Soccer award.
Osimhen helped Nigeria qualify for the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, finishing the qualification series as the highest scorer with ten goals.
Nwankwo Kanu was the last Nigerian player to be voted Africa Footballer of the Year by CAF in 1999, while Saido Mane is the continent’s reigning football monarch.
Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke, and Victor Ikpeba are the only other Nigerians who have previously been voted the continent’s top players.
Kanu, on the other hand, is the only person to have won the award twice, in 1996 and 1999.
Asisat Oshoala, Chiamaka Nnadozie, and Deborah Abiodun are among the other Super Falcons stars nominated for the prizes.
Oshoala, a five-time CAF women’s award winner, will compete for a record sixth title against Zambia’s Barbra Banda and South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana.
Oshoala led Barcelona to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League while also leading the Catalans to a league title as they went undefeated all season, and she is the favorite to win the award for a record sixth time.
Nnadozie and Abiodun will compete for first place in their respective categories at the award ceremony, which will be held at the Palais des Congres, Movenpick, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Nnadozie will compete for the Goalkeeper of the Year title in the women’s category against Moroccan Khadija Er-Rmichi and South African Andile Dlamini, while Abiodun will compete for the Young Player of the Year award in the women’s category against Ghana’s Comfort Yeboah and Moroccan Nesryne El Chad.
The Super Falcons will also compete for the National Women’s Team of the Year award. They are competing for the prize against Morocco and South Africa.