Osimhen has had a remarkable year, and he is one of the top contenders to be the best player on the continent
The Confederation of African Football have announced December 11 as the date for the 2023 CAF Awards, Soccernet reports.
The CAF Awards has always been an occasion for the continent’s football ruling body to recognize footballers who have excelled in the preceding year. There are different categories for the awards, but the most revered one is the one for the best male player.
No Nigerian player has won the award since Arsenal hero Kanu Nwankwo in 1999. A few players have come close, but no Nigerian has worn the crown since then.
However, there is a renewed belief this year. Napoli star Victor Osimhen had a remarkable campaign with Napoli, and he is one of the favourites to win the award.
The 24-year-old Nigerian hitman scored 26 goals in the Serie A to help Napoli win their first Scudetto since 1990. In the run-up to his remarkable goal haul, he also broke the legendary George Weah and former Barcelona star Samuel Eto’o’s scoring records.
Also, Osimhen was superb in the UEFA Champions League as he scored five goals to help Napoli reach their first-ever quarterfinal.
On the international scene, Osimhen has also been consistently banging in the goals for the Super Eagles. The former Lille man has been a reliable lynchpin for the three-time African champions.
CAF has already announced that the period in consideration is from September 2022 to June 2023. And within that period, only a few players have matched Osimhen’s brilliance.
Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane, who have been dominating the scene, failed to live up to the expectations last season. Riyad Mahrez won the treble with Manchester City last season, but he did not have the kind of impact that Osimhen had.
The only players that can measure up in the last year are Morocco stars Yassine Bounou and Achraf Hakimi. Both players were superb for their country as they fought their way to a fourth-place finish at the 2022 World Cup. At club level, Bounou won the Europa League with Sevilla, while Hakimi won the Ligue 1.
Votes will decide the winner of the award, and the winner will be announced at the ceremony on the 11th of December.