The Napoli striker was crowned the King of African football in December following an exceptional year for club and country
Super Eagles players and coaches celebrated Victor Osimhen in Abu Dhabi after he became the first Nigerian since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999 to win the CAF Africa Player of the Year award, Soccernet.ng reports.
After powering Napoli to their first Scudetto title in three days and topping the goalscorer chart during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, Osimhen was named the best player on the continent in December.
Since Osimhen’s triumph at the CAF award ceremony, the Super Eagles have not met as a team. Nigeria’s last engagement was in November, when the Super Eagles, who had Osimhen out injured, were forced to two 1-1 draws by Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Super Eagles are, however, gathered in their training camp in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, as they step up preparations for the AFCON in Ivory Coast this month.
The national team camp opened on Tuesday, with 24 of the 25 invited players already working with head coach Jose Peseiro. Only Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho is being awaited as he recovers from an injury threatening his participation.
Osimhen and William Troost-Ekong were among the last players to arrive in camp.
And during the first dinner the team will have together, Osimhen was honoured with a standing ovation as his international teammates celebrated his POTY award.
Osimhen will be Nigeria’s primary goal outlet when proceedings kick off at the 34th edition of the AFCON in the Ivory Coast.
The Napoli forward was Nigeria’s most prolific goalscorer in 2023. As the best striker on the continent, he will be expected to lead the Super Eagles’s charge for a fourth continental crown.
Osimhen could become the first Nigerian player since Rashidi Yekini to win the AFCON as the best player on the continent.