Victor Osimhen, the prolific striker for the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli, clinched the prestigious CAF 2023 Men’s Player of the Year award, triumphing over strong contenders Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Achraf Hakimi of Morocco.
Osimhen’s outstanding performance during the 2022–2023 season, marked by 25 league goals that propelled Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, earned him the title. He also secured the Best Striker in Serie A award, surpassing competitors like Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.
Contributing five goals to Napoli’s journey to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Osimhen played a pivotal role in the Super Eagles securing a spot in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with 10 goals, topping the qualifiers’ goal-scoring charts.
His Serie A goal-scoring prowess made him the first African to lead the Serie A scorers’ chart, breaking George Weah’s record for the highest number of goals scored by an African in the Italian league.
Osimhen’s achievement holds historical significance as he becomes the first Super Eagles player to claim the award since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999. At the 2023 Ballon d’Or, he secured the 8th position, setting records as the highest-ranked Nigerian player and the highest-ranked African player at the prestigious event.
In the same ceremony, Morocco’s success in reaching the World Cup semi-finals was acknowledged, with goalkeeper Yassine Bounou named the goalkeeper of the year, coach Walid Regragui awarded coach of the year, and Morocco receiving the national team of the year accolade.
Completing the Nigerian triumph, Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala clinched the African Women’s Player of the Year for an unprecedented sixth time. Born in Ikorodu, Oshoala has consistently excelled, playing for Nigerian clubs Robo and Rivers Angels, as well as prominent teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Dalian Quanjian.
The event also celebrated Chiamaka Nnadozie, who was honored with the CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year for 2023. Nnadozie’s remarkable saves, including stopping a penalty in the Women’s World Cup match against Canada, earned her the prestigious award, triumphing over contenders Khadija El-Rmichi from Morocco and Andile Olaminii from South Africa.