Nigeria’s Osimhen, Oshoala win African footballer of the year awards, Nnadozie emerges goalkeeper of the year

Victor Osimhen collects his award, the first Nigerian male player to win it since 1999, and Asisat Oshoala named the African women’s footballer of the year for a record sixth time. Photo: CAF
Chiamaka Nnadozie won the Goalkeeper of the Year ahead of Khadija Er-Rmichi and Andile Dlamini

Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has been named the African men’s footballer of the year while his compatriot Asisat Oshoala, the Barcelona forward, claimed the top prize in the women’s category at the CAF Awards 2023 event held in Marrakech, Morocco.

Osimhen scored 26 goals, topping the Serie A scoring charts as he helped Napoli end a 33-year wait for the Italian title last season. The Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Paris Saint-Germain’s Moroccan wing-back Achraf Hakimi were the other two final nominees.

“It is a dream come true,” the 24-year-old Osimhen said at the ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco. “I have to thank everybody who has helped me on this journey, and all Africans who have helped to put me on the map despite my faults.”

The Napoli striker is the first Nigerian player to win the award since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999. Senegal’s Sadio Mané had won the previous two awards, in 2019 and 2022. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) and Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast) have each won the award four times.

Oshoala was named the African women’s footballer of the year for a record sixth time. She overcame injury to help Nigeria reach the last 16 at the 2023 World Cup, where they were beaten by England on penalties. Oshoala scored in the 3-2 group stage win over Australia, finding the net for a third consecutive World Cup.

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The 29-year-old also won the Women’s Champions League and Spanish title with Barcelona. Oshoala beat South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana and Zambia’s Barbra Banda to claim the award, which she also won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Morocco won men’s team of the year after their thrilling run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar last year, while their manager, Walid Regragui, won the men’s coach of the year award.

Also, another Nigerian, who is Paris FC goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, won the CAF Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

Nnadozie won the Goalkeeper of the Year ahead of Khadija Er-Rmichi and Andile Dlamini.

The 23-year-old kept three clean sheets at the World Cup and helped Paris FC qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the highlight being her two penalty saves against Arsenal in the qualification series.

She becomes the first player to win the award as this year is the first of it being given.

Nigeria took the trophy for women’s team of the year, while South Africa’s Desiree Ellis won the women’s coach award for the fourth time in succession.

The awards are voted for by a panel made up of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) technical committee, African journalists and broadcasters, and head coaches and captains of national teams and leading African clubs.

Reuters and