CAFAwards2023: Salah should win best player not Osimhen — Amuneke

Emmanuel Amuneke does not believe Victor Osimhen deserve the CAF Player of the Year award |Photo Credit: Imago

CAFAwards2023: Salah should win best player not Osimhen — Amuneke

Faruq Ibrahim 19:41 - 11.12.2023

Super Eagles Legend Emmanuel Amunike picks Mohammed Salah over Victor Osimhen for CAF African Player of the Year Award

Super Eagles legend Emmanuel Amunike has come under heavy fire for opining that Mohammed Salah deserves the CAF Men's Player of the Year award ahead of his compatriot Victor Osimhen.

Osimhen has had a remarkable year for Napoli and the Super Eagles, and is believed to be the favourite for the prize, but Amuneke, who recorded 39 caps for Nigeria has a differing opinion, and this has come as a shock to many.

What Amuneke said 

Ahead of the big event on Monday night in Marrakech Morocco, the CAF social media account shared a video where it asked legends of the African game to name their preferred winner for the African Player of the Year Award of the three nominees between Osimhen, Mohammed Salah, and Achraf Hakimi. 

The legends were seemingly in transit to the gala when the content was recorded, and although majority of them went for Osimhen, including former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Shockingly, Nigeria’s Amunike wasted no time in naming Salah when the camera panned on him. 

Reactions to what Amunike said 

The former Barcelona forward is currently an assistant manager of the Super Eagles, and is reportedly shoo-in to replace Jose Peseiro at the helm of the Nigerian national team. 

Hence, his decision to vote against his countryman, who could well soon be under tutelage, befuddled many.

One fan, angry at the 52-year-old’s pick said, “Why are these people like this? What on earth could make Amuneke pick Salah over Osimhen? Forget the latter being his countryman, let's compare the performance of both last season. These guys are just too jealous of the young ones.”

Another said, “Though amuneke is a legend, he's totally wrong, and I don't want to overthink this joke. Cause he really sounds bitter and has nothing to do with his opinions.”

Pulse Sports’ Senior Editor Solace Chukwu, joined in the reactions to Amunike’s pick, saying, “For better or worse, this is who Amuneke is and has always been: blunt, abrasive to a fault. Discretion is often the better part of valour though, especially as he actively desires to coach @NGSuperEagles. He absolutely can hold that opinion, but he simply cannot do it publicly.”

Osimhen finished as the top scoring player in Serie A last season, while leading Napoli to their first Scudetto in 33 years.  

He also comfortably outscored Mohammed Salah’s league tally last season while playing in lesser games and the Egyptian could only see Liverpool to a 5th place finish.