Osimhen Leads Contenders for 2023 CAF African Player of the Year Award
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently announced that the prestigious African Player of the Year award ceremony will take place on December 11, 2023, in Morocco, MySportDab reports.
With notable players such as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah out of contention this year, the stage is set for a new winner to emerge. Among the favorites vying for the coveted title.
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has emerged as a frontrunner due to his exceptional performances for Napoli and Nigeria.
Osimhen’s remarkable achievements throughout the 2022/23 season have propelled him to the forefront of the race.
His impressive goal-scoring record of 26 goals and four assists in 32 Serie A matches not only led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years but also etched his name in history.
Osimhen broke long-standing scoring records previously held by renowned African strikers George Weah, Obafemi Martins, and Samuel Eto’o. This feat marked him as the first African player to secure the top-scorer title in the Serie A in over a century. Moreover, Osimhen’s contributions extended beyond club football, with seven goals and two assists in the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The 24-year-old striker’s latest exploits include a remarkable start to the 2023-24 Serie A season.
In Napoli’s opening match against Frosinone, Osimhen’s brace orchestrated a comeback victory, showcasing his undeniable prowess on the field. With his 61st career goal for Napoli, Osimhen reaffirmed his status as a dominant force in the sport.
However, Osimhen is not the sole contender for the award. Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, a key figure in Manchester City’s historic treble-winning season, stands as a strong favorite. Mahrez’s contributions were pivotal in securing the Premier League title, FA Cup, and Champions League for his former club. Scoring 15 goals and providing 13 assists in 47 games across all competitions, Mahrez demonstrated his versatility and impact.
Other notable contenders include Moroccan talents who left an indelible mark on the international stage. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou’s standout performances during Morocco’s journey to the fourth position in the 2022 World Cup have placed him in the running. Bounou’s heroic saves, particularly during penalty shootouts, were instrumental in his team’s success.
Achraf Hakimi, part of Morocco’s historic FIFA World Cup semi-final achievement, also commands attention. His crucial role in Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 title triumph adds to his credentials.
Likewise, Youssef En-Nesyri’s impactful contributions during Morocco’s fourth-place finish and Sevilla’s Europa League victory make him a contender for the esteemed award.
As the footballing world eagerly awaits the grand ceremony in December, the stage is set for one of these exceptional players to be crowned the 2023 CAF African Player of the Year.
With their remarkable performances and achievements, Osimhen, Mahrez, and the other contenders have undoubtedly earned their place in this prestigious race.
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