The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unveiled the 30-man shortlist for the 2023 African Player of the Year awards with Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, a prominent name featured, Soccernet.ng reports.
Osimhen will be one the favourites alongside Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah, Arsenal and Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey, and PSG and Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi to pick up the continent’s best player award during a prestigious Gala night scheduled for December 11, 2023, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Osimhen, with his remarkable achievements, stands out as a top contender for the coveted title.
His instrumental role in securing Napoli’s third Scudetto triumph and leading them to a historic quarterfinal appearance in the UEFA Champions League has propelled the 24-year-old striker into the spotlight.
Moreover, his commendable 8th-place finish in the Ballon d’Or race has elevated his standing among other African football stars in 2023.
Should Osimhen clinch the prestigious CAF Player of the Year title, he would follow in the footsteps of Nigerian greats such as Nwankwo Kanu, Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amunike, and Victor Ikpeba, who have previously claimed this esteemed accolade.
Interestingly, Osimhen could become the first Nigerian to win the award since Kanu was named the best player in 1999 – ending a 24-year wait for the three-time African champions.
The last CAF Awards Gala in July 2022 in Rabat, Morocco, saw Sadio Mane of Senegal and Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala emerge as the African Player of the Year and African Women’s Player of the Year, respectively.
Full List of Nominees (in alphabetic order by Member Association):
Player of the Year (Men)
1. Ramy Bensebaini (Algeria and Borussia Dortmund)
2. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Al Ahli)
3. Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso and Bayer Leverkusen)
4. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Cameroon and SSC Napoli)
5. Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon and Besiktas)
6. Ibrahima Sangare (Cote d’Ivoire and Nottingham Forest)
7. Seko Fofana (Cote d’Ivoire and Al Nassr)
8. Chancel Mbemba (DR Congo and Olympique Marseille)
9. Fiston Mayele (DR Congo and Pyramids)
10. Mahmoud Abdel Moneim “Kahraba” (Egypt and Ahly)
11. Mohamed Abdelmonem (Egypt and Al Ahly)
12. Mohamed ElShenawy (Egypt and Al Ahly)
13. Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
14. Mohammed Kudus (Ghana and West Ham United)
15. Thomas Partey (Ghana and Arsenal)
16. Serhou Guirassy (Guinea and VfB Stuttgart)
17. Yves Bissouma (Mali and Tottenham Hotspur)
18. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco and Paris Saint-Germain)
19. Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco and Olympique Marseille)
20. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco and Galatasaray)
21. Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco and Manchester United)
22. Yahya Jabrane (Morocco and Wydad Athletic Club)
23. Yassine Bounou (Morocco and Al Hilal)
24. Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco and Sevilla)
25. Peter Shalulile (Namibia and Mamelodi Sundowns)
26. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria and SSC Napoli)
27. Sadio Mane (Senegal and Al Nassr)
28. Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal and Tottenham Hotspur)
29. Percy Tau (South Africa and Al Ahly)
30. Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Tunisia and Ferencvaros)