Osimhen, Oshoala Emerge Africa’s Best Male, Female Footballers Of 2023

Osimhen faced stiff competition from Egyptian Mohamed Salah and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi but emerged victorious as the 2023 African Player of the Year

Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala, both hailing from Nigeria, have secured the titles of Africa’s best male and female footballers for the year 2023.

Osimhen faced stiff competition from Egyptian Mohamed Salah and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi but emerged victorious as the 2023 African Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Asisat Oshoala clinched her sixth award as the Women’s Player of the Year, surpassing contenders Thembi Klagtlana from South Africa and Zambia’s Barbara Banda.

Victor Osimhen secures 2023 African Player of the Year, ending Nigeria’s 24-year quest; sixth Nigerian to claim the prestigious award
Asisat Oshoala wins Women’s Player of the Year for the sixth time, leading Nigeria’s Super Falcons to Best Women’s National Team title

Osimhen’s remarkable achievement in Morocco brought an end to Nigeria’s 24-year-long quest for Africa’s top individual football honor. The last Nigerian to claim this prestigious award was Kanu Nwankwo in 1999.

This victory marks Osimhen as the fifth Nigerian international to achieve such a feat, following in the footsteps of Rashidi Yekini (1993), Emmanuel Amunike (1994), Nwankwo Kanu (1996), Victor Ikpeba (1997), and Nwankwo Kanu again in 1999.

Beyond his club exploits, Osimhen has been a crucial part of the Nigerian national team, contributing significantly to their successes in international competitions. His leadership and goal-scoring prowess have been pivotal in Nigeria’s quest for excellence in football, and this award recognizes not only his individual achievements but also his contribution to the broader footballing community.

On the women’s front, Asisat Oshoala’s sixth Women’s Player of the Year award reaffirms her status as a dominant force in African women’s football. The 27-year-old forward has consistently raised the bar, showcasing her exceptional skill, goal-scoring ability, and leadership on the pitch.

Oshoala’s influence extends beyond individual accolades. As the captain of Nigeria’s Super Falcons, she led the team to clinch the Best Women’s National Team title. Her leadership both on and off the field has been instrumental in Nigeria’s continued success in women’s football, making her a role model for aspiring female players across the continent.

The simultaneous triumphs of Osimhen and Oshoala underscore Nigeria’s rich footballing tradition and its ability to produce world-class talent. This dual victory sends a powerful message about the depth and quality of football in Nigeria, reinforcing the country’s standing as a football powerhouse on the African continent.

The award recognizes Osimhen’s outstanding contributions to Napoli, where his 26 league goals propelled the team to its first Serie A title in 33 years. His performance shattered George Weah’s record as the highest-scoring player from the continent in the Italian top flight.

READ ALSO: President Bola Tinubu Lauds Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie for Stellar Performances at the 2023 CAF Awards

Notably, Osimhen made history by being the first player to win both the Player of the Year (Men) and Young Player of the Year (Men) awards in different seasons, a testament to his consistent excellence. Recently, he was crowned the 2022/2023 Player of the Year in Italy’s Serie A, following his previous win as the Young Player of the Year in the 2021/2022 season.

Expressing gratitude, Osimhen acknowledged the role of his coach, Emmanuel Amunike, at the U17 national team level, emphasizing that without Amunike, his achievement wouldn’t have been possible. He extended thanks to supporters, including Emmanue Adebayor, Salomon Kaluo, and African legends like Didier Drogba, his role model.

In addition to individual accolades, Nigeria’s Super Falcons claimed the title of the Best Women’s National Team of the Year, a recognition of their outstanding performance at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Chiamaka Nnadozie, the standout goalkeeper for the Super Falcons during the FIFA World Cup, received the Goalkeeper of the Year (Women) award. In her moving speech, she encouraged aspiring young girls in Africa to pursue their dreams in football, emphasizing that dreams do come true with dedication and hard work.


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