Nigeria and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has been voted the Men’s African Player of the Year at the 2023 CAF Awards gala held in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday, Peoples Gazette can report.
The 24-year-old, who scored 31 goals in 39 appearances last season to help Napoli clinch the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years and also reach the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history, beat Mohamed Salah and Achraf Hakimi to the honour.
His 26 league goals last season were enough to earn him the top-scorer award, a performance which has now earned the former Wolfsburg player an eighth-place finish in the Ballon d’Or some months ago and now the African Player of the Year award.
Osimhen is the first Nigerian male footballer to win the award since Nwankwo Kanu clinched it in 1999.
Also on the night, Super Falcons forward Asisat Oshoala won her third consecutive Women’s ‘African Player of The Year’ and her record-extending sixth in total after edging one-time winner Thembi Kgatlana and Zambia’s Barbara Banda to the honour.
Another win for Nigeria came in the Women’s ‘Best Goalkeeper of the Year’ category won by Paris FC shot-stopper Chiamaka Nnadozie and Best Women’s National Team of the Year won by Nigeria women’s national team, Super Falcons.
Meanwhile, Morocco and former Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was named the Men’s Best Goalkeeper of the Year for 2023.
Morocco’s Atlas Lions head coach Walid Regragui was named the winner of the Men’s Best Coach of the Year, while South Africa’s Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis was voted the Women’s Best Coach of the Year.