Abuja, Dec. 11, 2023 (NAN) Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen and Super Falcons striker, Asisat Oshoala, have been crowned the 2023 CAF African Player of the Year, in a keenly contested award.
BRANDPOWER reports that while Osimhen bagged the men’s award, Oshoala won the women’s title at an event held in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Monday.
Osimhen, who plies his trade with Napoli FC of Italy won the coveted prize after Nwankwo Kanu who won it in 1999.
Osimhen beat Liverpool and Egypt’s Mohammed Salah and PSG and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi to win the crown.
The Super Eagles striker had an excellent football season in 2022 as he helped Napoli win the Serie A title for the first time after over 30 years.
He had also emerged as the Serie A Player of the season having scored 26 league goals and 31 in all competitions.
For 29-year-old Oshoala, this is her sixth time of winning the award, having won it in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2022.
Super Falcon’s Goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie also won the women’s goalkeeper of the year prize, while the team was named the best women’s national team in Africa.
Also, Super Falcons players Michelle Alozie and Tosin Demehin made the CAF women’s best XI.
CAF awards: Ex-internationals, coaches hail Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie
Also, some ex-internationals and coaches on Monday applauded the trio of Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala and Chiamaka Nnadozie for winning the 2023 Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) awards.
Fanny Amu, a former coach of the Golden Eaglets, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said winning in those categories was no child’s play.
“It’s a good thing for our football, this goes to show that we have the talents, this has never been in doubt. Now we’ve been reminded of how far these players can go when they’re well nurtured.
“Congratulations to the players and to each and every Nigerian all over the world. We haven’t had it this good in the last ten years, I’m proud of them,” he said.
Similarly, Wahidi Akanni, former Super Eagles player, said the awards would give the national teams more confidence to thrive in the world and not just Africa.
“Huge congratulations to the fantastic trio, they deserve this win, this is good for our football and I commend them.
“This is a new dawn. This will further motivate upcoming players, if they can remain focussed and consistent, they can achieve this too,” he said.
Also, Stella Mbachu, a former Super Falcons player, said she wasn’t surprised that the Oshoala and Nnadozie made it to the podium.
“They wowed me, it’s such a good night to be a Nigerian. Well done to Victor, and my girls, they made it look easy but that’s what you get when you have worked hard enough.
“I want every boy child and girl child to be inspired by tonight, congratulations to the entire team,” she said.
Rita Nwadike, a former midfielder who scored Nigeria’s first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup goal against Canada in the 1995 tournament in Sweden, expressed excitement over the awards.
“Our players have given a good account of themselves. Their performance at the World Cup held everyone spellbound. The number of awards won tonight is a reminder.
“Congratulations to the entire team, they should be proud of themselves, they deserve to savour every bit of this victory,” she said.
NAN reports that Super Eagles and Napoli forward, Osimhen, becomes the first Nigerian to win the coveted prize since Nwankwo Kanu won it in 1999.
The 24-year-old beat Liverpool and Egypt’s Mohammed Salah and PSG and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi to the crown.
For Oshoala, the Barcelona star was crowned the winner of the 2023 CAF Women’s for the sixth time, continuing her dominance in the continent’s women’s game.
Nnadozie, Super Falcons goalkeeper and Paris FC of France shot-stopper, beat Moroccan shot-stopper Khadija El-Rmichi and South Africa’s Andile Olaminii to clinch the title.