The 2023 AFCON tournament is officially seventeen days away from its official kick-off. The tournament will be hosted in Ivory Coast from January 13th to February 11th.
Soccernet.ng looks into five proven goal-scorers who will anchor the attack of their countries as they look to win the most prestigious African footballing competition.
1. Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroon, Beşiktaş J.K.
The 31-year-old scored eight goals last time at the 2021 edition of the AFCON tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo joining Al-Nassr meant Aboubakar had to make way, but that didn’t deter him. Since joining Beşiktaş in January, he has scored 24 goals in 38 games for the Turkish side and is primed to lead the line for The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Ivory Coast next year.
2. Yousef En-Nesyri – Morocco, Sevilla
Sevilla’s Mr Reliable led the Atlas Lions of Morocco to the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-final in Qatar, making history as the first African side to reach that level, sweeping Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal aside. The 26-year-old has been involved in six league goals for Sevilla this term and will cause trouble for opposition defences in Ivory Coast, especially aerially as he’s very strong in the air.
3. Victor Osimhen – Nigeria, Napoli
Expectations lie in wait for the African Player of the Year award recipient. The Super Eagles last won the AFCON in 2013, and want to make a statement in Ivory Coast, and if there’s anyone that can rise to the occasion, it’ll be the former Lille striker. He scored 26 goals last season to help Napoli win their first Scudetto in over three decades.
4. Serhou Yadaly Guirassy – Guinea, VFB Stuttgart
Stuttgart are currently third on the German Bundesliga table, thanks to the goals of the Guinean striker. Guirassy has scored seventeen times in just twelve games, beating Nkunku’s record of sixteen goals that carted away the Kicker-Torjägerkanone last season. With Guirassy up-front, Guinea are dark horses in the tournament and could spring up a surprise.
5. Victor Boniface – Nigeria, Bayer 04 Leverkusen
The African player with the most goal involvements so far this season, joint top with Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah. He has 23 goal involvements in all competitions for Die Werkself this season and is expected to partner Victor Osimhen in attack for Nigeria as he heads to his maiden AFCON tournament.
Boniface has shown how good he is on the European stage and is anticipating a successful AFCON tournament in a Super Eagles jersey as well.