Super Eagles and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has shrugged off competition from Mohammed Salah and Achraf Hakimi to win the African Footballer of the Year Award.
Super Eagles ace Victor Osimhen has been named the African Men’s Footballer of the Year at the CAF Awards 2023.
The Nigerian was nominated alongside Egypt’s Mohammed Salag and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi in the top three, but he beat the North African duo to the prize.
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Osimhen breaks 24-year jinx
Victor Osimhen was only months old when Super Eagles legend Nwankwo Kanu was named CAF Player of the Year in 1999, and since then, no Nigerian footballer has ever won the award.
A number of players have come close, most recently Mikel Obi in 2013, but the Chelsea legend lost out to Ivorian Yaya Toure.
The Lagos-born striker of Edo roots has now taken another step towards immortalising himself in the pantheon of Nigerian football, as he became the first player from the West African nation to win the award in 24 years and only the fifth in the country’s football history (Rashidi Yekini 1993; Emmanuel Amuneke 1994; Victor Ikpeba 1997; Nwakwo Kanu 1996,1999; and Victor Osimhen 2023).
How Osimhen won the CAF Men’s Player of the Year Award
The exploits of the 24-year-old striker with Napoli last season are far from a secret, but the scale of his achievements warrants continued emphasis.
Osimhen led Napoli to their first-ever Serie A title in 33 years, the first since the late great Diego Armando Maradona called Naples home.
The former Wolfsburg striker also picked up the Cappocanoniere for his troubles, as well as forever etching himself in Serie A African history, becoming the highest-scoring player from the continent to ever grace the league.
On the home front, Osimhen was a terror for African defenders in AFCON qualifying, scoring 10 goals, the most in the competition in recorded history.
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