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Osimhen, Oshoala crowned Africa’s best players of 2023

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Nigerian stars Asisat Oshoala and Victor Osimhen with CAF president Patrice Motsepe after their awards.
Nigerian stars Asisat Oshoala and Victor Osimhen with CAF president Patrice Motsepe after their awards.
  • Victor Osimhen was named men’s player of the year
  • Asisat Oshoala was named women’s player of the year
  • Morocco’s Walid Regragui was named coach of the year

Nigerian stars Asisat Oshoala and Victor Osimhen were crowned Africa’s best players in 2023, at a glamorous awards ceremony staged by CAF in Marrakech, Morocco.

Osimhem who starred for Italian side Napoli as they clinched the scudetto for the first time in 33 years clinched the award for the very first time and became the fifth Nigerian player to clinch it. Meanwhile, Oshoala, who plays for FC Barcelona’s women’s team, clinched the title for a record sixth time.

Osimhen’s remarkable journey saw him fend off stiff competition from Moroccan full-back Achraf Hakimi and Egyptian striker Mohammed Salah.

The lanky Nigerian forward had a season to remember, where he became the all-time African top scorer in Italy, surpassing former Liberian president George Weah’s record. He also finished as the top scorer in the Italian top tier with 26 goals.

Oshoala stars for Barcelona

asisat oshoala nigerian footballer

Asisat Oshoala, 28, hit the interwebs after scoring the winning goal for Nigeria’s Super Falcons over Australia. Nigeria won 3-2 which sent the Nigerian female football star on a celebration spirit.  She took off her shirt in celebration but this angered some quarters among them her father.
She posted on her Instagram page that her act as a Muslim woman angered her father. Photo/Getty Images

Compatriot Oshoala meanwhile continued to dominate the women’s game, with yet another player of the year category. The former Arsenal women’s player inspired Barcelona to Champions League glory, finishing as the club’s top scorer with 27 goals across all competitions.

Also nominated alongside her in the final three for the award Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Zambia’s Barbra Banda.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s Walid Regragui was crowned Coach of the Year in the Men’s category – recognised for guiding the Atlas Lions to a historic World Cup semi-final run in Qatar. The Atlas Lions made history, becoming the first ever African team to reach the last four at the global showpiece.

Goalkeeper Yassine Bono, also for his heroics that led to the national team reaching the semis including crucial penalty saves in the quarter final win over Spain, was named goalkeeper of the year, beating Manchester United and Cameroon’s Andre Onana and Egyptian Mohamed Elshenawy of Al Ahly.

Morocco was also, as expected, named national team of the year.

Ellis named women’s coach of the year 

Banyana kicks off long journey for 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan - Sports Leo

Banyana kicks off long journey for 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Desiree Ellis secured the corresponding coach award in the women’s category for her outstanding work with Banyana Banyana. This was Ellis’ record fourth award in this category, which she has won consistently since 2018.

Ellis led Banyana to the Africa Cup of Nations qualification this year, ready to defend the title they won last year. However, Nigeria was named as women’s team of the year.

At the same time, Senegal’s Lamine Camara, the 19-year-old FC Metz forward, clinched the CAF Young Player of the Year award, marking his meteoric rise in African football. Moroccan prodigy Nesryne El Chad won the inaugural CAF Women’s Young Player of the Year award.

In the Inter Club awards, South African star Percy Tau was named inter club player of the year, having played a starring role as Al Ahly clinched their record extending 11th African title. Tau waded off stiff competition from CAF Confederation Cup top scorer Fiston Mayele, formerly with Yanga and now with Egypt’s Pyramids. Also nominated was Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile.

For their record setting CAF CL crown, Al Ahly was also named club of the year. Mamelodi Sundowns women won the corresponding women’s award.

Meanwhile, Fatima Tagnaout was named as the women’s interclub player of the year, having played a starring role for her club AS FAR as they reached the final of the CAF Women’s Champions League.

Osimhen and full List of Award Winners:

Winners from all categories line up after clinching their awards. PHOTO/CAF

Winners from all categories line up after clinching their awards. PHOTO/CAF

Player of the Year (Men): Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli)

Player of the Year (Women): Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria, Barcelona)

Interclub Player of the Year (Men): Percy Tau (South Africa, Al Ahly)

Interclub Player of the Year (Women): Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)

Coach of the Year (Men): Walid Regragui (Morocco)

Coach of the Year (Women): Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

Goalkeeper of the Year (Men): Yassine Bounou (Morocco, Al Hilal)

Goalkeeper of the Year (Women): Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)

Young Player of the Year (Men): Lamine Camara (Senegal, Metz)

Young Player of the Year (Women): Nesryne El Chad (Morocco, Lille)

National Team of the Year (Men): Morocco

National Team of the Year (Women): Nigeria

Club of the Year (Men): Al Ahly (Egypt)

Club of the Year (Women): Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

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