The Napoli striker could be the first Nigerian to claim the coveted individual honour since 1999
Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen has secured his spot in the final trio vying for the prestigious 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year, Soccernet.ng reports.
The official CAF announcement, made on Thursday via its official X handle, confirmed Osimhen’s inclusion alongside Morocco’s Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.
Notably absent from this elite group is last year’s victor, Sadio Mane, who failed to secure a place in the final shortlist.
Osimhen emerges as a strong contender, having played a pivotal role in guiding Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years during the previous season, with an impressive tally of 26 goals to his credit.
The 24-year-old striker aims to etch his name in history by becoming the first Nigerian since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999 to claim the coveted award.
Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke, and Victor Ikpeba are the only other Nigerians to have previously been named the best player on the continent. Kanu, however, remains the only one to have won the award more than once.
The winner of the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year is set to unfold at the CAF Awards Gala on Monday, December 11, 2023, at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco.