13.12.2023, 08:13

Nigeria Triumphs at 2023 CAF Awards: Osimhen and Oshoala Clinch Top Honors

Nigeria Triumphs at 2023 CAF Awards: Osimhen and Oshoala Clinch Top Honors

Nigeria celebrated significant success at the 2023 CAF Awards held in Morocco. Super Eagles star Victor Osimhen was named the Best Footballer in Africa for the men’s category, marking his first win. The Napoli forward triumphed over competitors like PSG's Achraf Hakimi from Morocco and Liverpool's Mo Salah from Egypt. Osimhen's achievement adds him to the Nigerian legends like Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amunike, and Nwankwo Kanu who have won this prestigious award.

In the women’s category, Asisat Oshoala made history by becoming the first woman to win the award six times. Her win as the Africa Women’s Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season did not surprise many. Oshoala's outstanding performance propelled Barcelona to Champions League success, finishing as the club's top scorer with 27 goals across all competitions. She also played a pivotal role in Nigeria's journey to the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.

Football analyst Fisayo Dairo praised Oshoala, stating that her impressive statistics and records make it easy to regard her as the greatest. Dairo emphasized the difficulty in breaking Oshoala’s record of six CAF African Women’s Player of the Year Awards, likening it to achievements by football greats like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. He suggested that it would take a player of extraordinary talent, similar to Colombia's Linda Caicedo, to surpass Oshoala's record, and they would need to start their career as early as she did.

The night was extraordinary for Nigeria as it marked the first time Nigerians won the African Player of the Year award in both the women’s and men’s categories. Mercy Akide, the first award winner in 2001, expressed her joy and pride in Osimhen and Oshoala's achievements. She highlighted the significance of these wins for Nigeria, calling it a monumental day.

Perpetua Nkwocha, a four-time winner of the award from Nigeria, also praised Oshoala's win, noting its importance for her and the country. Nkwocha and Akide are viewed as pioneers in women’s football in Nigeria and across the continent. Their achievements, along with Oshoala's latest win, are expected to promote further the growth of the sport both in Nigeria and continent-wide. Akide and Nkwocha have been instrumental in Nigeria's successes in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, with multiple wins in the early 2000s.


Only authorized users can leave comments.
Sign In
No Comments Yet
Be the pioneer! There are no comments so far, your insightful thoughts could lead the way. Share your perspective!