It is only a few days to the kick-off of the highly anticipated 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, where 24 teams and numerous players have converged in Cote d’Ivoire, all vying for the prestigious title.
With at least 100 goals scored in each of the last two editions, the stage is set for another spectacle of goals, leaving fans wondering who will emerge as the tournament’s highest-scoring player.
Soccernet.ng presents the top seven candidates aiming not only to win the AFCON Cup but also to claim the Golden Boot award as the tournament’s best marksman.
Sadio Manè – Senegal and Al Nassr
The Senegalese maestro, fresh off leading his nation to a historic triumph in 2021, is back to defend the Lions’ title.
Mane, now donning the colours of Al Nassr alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, is in top form, having netted eight goals and supplied four assists in 18 Saudi Pro League games.
His menacing presence promises to torment defenders in Cote d’Ivoire.
Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroon and Besiktas
Cameroonian powerhouse Aboubakar, with 37 goals in 98 games for his country, is a well-known formidable force.
Having contributed to Cameroon’s 2017 Afcon victory and earning the top scorer title in 2021, the Besiktas forward, well-versed in the nuances of African football, is poised to be a handful once again.
Sehrou Guirassy – Guinea and Stuttgart
Guinea’s livewire, Guirassy, arrives at his first Afcon after an impressive stint with Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Named Bundesliga Player of the Month in September, he boasts 17 goals in just 14 league games.
With the potential for a rain of goals, Guirassy is set to be Guinea’s leading man in Ivory Coast.
Mohamed Amoura – Algeria and Union Saint Gilloise
While attention may be on Riyadh Mahrez for Algeria, Amoura’s 17 goals in 25 games for Union Saint Gilloise demand extra attention.
In the form of his life, Amoura presents a strong case for the Golden Boot as Algeria aims for the top prize in the 2023 Afcon.
Victor Osimhen – Nigeria and Napoli
Reigning Africa Footballer of the Year, Osimhen, stands as Nigeria’s goal-poacher extraordinaire.
Instrumental in Napoli’s historic Scudetto win, he dominated the Afcon qualifying campaign with ten goals in six games.
Positioned to become the seventh Nigerian to claim the Afcon Golden Boot, Osimhen is a force to be reckoned with.
This is the first time the 25-year-old will lead Nigeria’s attack at the AFCON, and it could become a memorable adventure for the Super Eagles.
Mohammed Kudus – Ghana and West Ham
Ghana’s hopes of a glorious Afcon adventure rest on the young shoulders of Kudus.
The West Ham United sensation, playing primarily as a right winger or attacking midfielder, scored more goals in 2023 than all other Ghanaian footballers except Raphael Dwamena.
With a keen eye for goals, Kudus could be Ghana’s primary source of goals.
Mohamed Salah – Egypt and Liverpool
Liverpool’s talisman, Mohamed Salah, stands as one of Africa’s truly world-class players.
At 31, this could be his final chance to lead Egypt to Afcon glory.
Egypt’s all-time highest scorer in CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Salah’s six goals, and past Team of the Tournament accolades make him a compelling contender for Afcon 2023.
Goals are inevitable, and the battle for the AFCON 2023 Golden Boot promises to be as riveting as the quest for the title itself.