Victor Osimhen become African Footballer of the Year, first Nigerian since 1999

The 24-year-old Napoli sensation edged out formidable competitors, including Mohamed Salah and Achraf Hakimi, to claim the coveted title and follow in the footsteps of Nigerian football legend Nwankwo Kanu, who achieved this feat in 1999

Marrakech, Morocco: Nigeria’s prolific striker Victor Osimhen has been crowned the African Footballer of the Year, marking a spectacular recognition of his outstanding performance in Serie A during the previous season. 

The 24-year-old Napoli sensation edged out formidable competitors, including Mohamed Salah and Achraf Hakimi, to claim the coveted title and follow in the footsteps of Nigerian football legend Nwankwo Kanu, who achieved this feat in 1999.

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Osimhen’s stellar campaign with Napoli left an indelible mark on Italian football, as he netted an astonishing 26 goals, playing a pivotal role in guiding Napoli to Serie A victory. 

His goal-scoring prowess made him the standout striker in Italy’s top division, and the African Footballer of the Year accolade is a fitting tribute to his exceptional contributions to the sport.

The competition was fierce, with Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and Paris Saint-Germain’s dynamic right-back Achraf Hakimi also vying for the prestigious award. 

However, Osimhen’s goal-scoring exploits and impact on Napoli’s success catapulted him to the top, earning him the admiration of football enthusiasts across the continent.

The award ceremony, held in Marrakech, was a triumph for Osimhen and a historic moment for Asisat Oshoala in the Women’s category. 

The Barcelona forward, overcoming challenges posed by injuries, displayed unwavering determination, leading her team to the 16th round at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. 

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In a nail-biting penalty shootout against England, Oshoala showcased resilience and skill, ultimately securing her sixth Women’s African Footballer of the Year award.

Oshoala’s remarkable achievement cements her legacy as the record-holder for the most wins in the Women’s category, surpassing competitors such as Thembi Kgatlana from South Africa and Barbra Banda from Zambia.

The prestigious award marks a changing of the guard as Senegal’s Sadio Mane, who clinched the title in 2019 and 2021, graciously passes the torch to Osimhen and Oshoala. 

The ceremony also pays homage to the legendary figures of African football, including Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure, both four-time recipients of the coveted award in previous years.

As the African football landscape continues to evolve, Osimhen and Oshoala stand as beacons of inspiration, embodying the spirit of excellence and resilience that defines the continent’s football prowess. 

The recognition of their achievements not only elevates their personal legacies but also shines a spotlight on the immense talent and vibrancy present in African football, captivating fans around the globe.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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