Nigeria's Victor Osimhen to battle Mo Salah and Mane for CAF Player of the Year award

Victor Osimhen faces Mo Salah, Mane and 27 others for the coveted CAF Player of the Year award. (Photo Credit: Imago)

Nigeria's Victor Osimhen to battle Mo Salah and Mane for CAF Player of the Year award

Izuchukwu Akawor 11:41 - 01.11.2023

Victor Osimhen is set for a tough fight for the CAF Player of the Year award after CAF released a strong 30-man squad that includes former winners Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has unveiled the distinguished list of nominees for the prestigious Player of the Year with Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen leading a packed list. 

CAfF made the reveal on Wednesday morning with Osimhen and renowned football stars, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, standing out as some of the top contenders among the 30 names released. 

Osimhen leads Salah and Mane

The announcement of the nominees has ignited excitement and curiosity among football fans as they eagerly await the crowning of the continent’s top football talent. 

This year’s CAF Player of the Year award promises to be intense battle, with an array of remarkable individuals led by Nigeria’s Osimhen, vying for the coveted title. 

Victor Osimhen led Napoli to the Serie A title last season || Credit: X

Napoli’s hero, Osimhen, 24, is regarded widely as the frontrunner for the 2023 edition of the Player of the Year, after an incredible 12 months for club and country.

The Super Eagles superstar was in top form as Napoli ended a 33-year wait for the Italian Serie A title, with his consistent and impressive scoring prowess key for the Italian champions.

Osimhen posing with the Serie A title from last season.

He netted 26 goals in 32 appearances to not only lead them to the title but also become the first-ever African to be named the best striker in the league’s 125-year history. 

Osimhen’s inclusion also comes as no surprise as he proved to be a standout player for the Super Eagles during the qualifiers where he finished as the top scorer in the continent with 10 goals.

The Battle Ahead for Osimhen

While the Nigerian international, who made history at the Ballon d’Or ceremony as the highest-ranking African this year and Nigerian ever, remains the favourite, he will face tough competition for the 2023 award.

Liverpool's Mo Salah and his former teammate, Sadio Mane, have left indelible marks on the world of football and continue to play pivotal roles for their clubs and countries. 

Mohamed Salah during a training session at the AXA Training Centre on October 11, 2022.

Another player expected to be a strong contender is Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and compatriots, Yassine Bounou, and the goalkeeper and striker, Youssef En-Nesyri, who both played key roles in the exceptional run to the World Cup semifinal last year by the Atlas Lions of Morocco. 

Other top names on the list include Arsenal’s Thomas Partey and his compatriot, Mohammed Kudus, Percy Tau of South Africa, former Manchester City dazzler, Riyad Mahrez, and the latest sensation from Guinea, Sergou Guirassy of Stuttgart. 

Achraf Hakimi of PSG and Morocco | Credit: IMAGO

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