In a dazzling night of celebration at the CAF Awards 2023 in Marrakech, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala emerged as the big winners, securing the prestigious titles of CAF African Player of the Year and CAF African Women’s Player of the Year, respectively.
Victor Osimhen: African Player of the Year
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, who made headlines in Italy and played a crucial role for the Super Eagles, clinched the CAF African Player of the Year. Osimhen’s remarkable journey saw him triumph over stiff competition from Moroccan full-back Achraf Hakimi and Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah. His historic win marked the end of a 24-year wait since Super Eagles legend Kanu Nwankwo last received the honor in 1999.
Osimhen’s impressive season with Napoli, where he contributed significantly to their Scudetto win after 33 years, earned him recognition. With 26 goals in the league, he became the first African to win the top scorer award in Serie A. His fine form continued, securing him a place in the hearts of Neapolitans and a spot in the Serie A Team of the Year.
Despite being knocked out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Osimhen’s goal-scoring prowess persisted, with 10 goals in the tournament, seven of them against São Tomé and Príncipe. The ‘Nigerian Prince’ also claimed the Italian Footballers’ Association Player of the Year earlier in December.
Asisat Oshoala: Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala, a stalwart in Nigerian women’s football, secured the CAF African Women’s Player of the Year for a record sixth time. The Barcelona forward played a pivotal role in guiding her team to Champions League glory, finishing as the club’s top scorer with 27 goals across all competitions. Oshoala, at 29, beat South African Thembi Kgatlana and Zambia’s Barbara Banda to retain her crown.
Her teammate, Chiamaka Nnadozie, also made history by winning her first-ever CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award. The Paris FC captain triumphed over Khadija Er-Rmichi of Morocco and South Africa’s Andile Dlamini.
- Coach of the Year: Walid Regragui of Morocco claimed the Coach of the Year (Men) award for guiding the Atlas Lions to a historic World Cup semi-final run in Qatar.
- Best African Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou of Morocco won the CAF award for Best African Goalkeeper, securing the honor ahead of Andre Onana of Cameroon and Egypt’s Mohamed El-Shenawy.
- Best Women’s Coach: Desiree Ellis of South Africa retained the Best Coach award in the women’s category for her outstanding work with Banyana Banyana. This marked her record fourth award in this category, which she has won consistently since 2018.
- Young Player of the Year: Lamine Camara of Senegal and Nesryne El Chad of Morocco claimed the CAF Young Player of the Year award in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.
- National Teams and Clubs: Morocco won the Men’s National Team award, Nigeria claimed the Women’s National Team of the Year award, and Al Ahly of Egypt and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa were honored as the Male and Female Clubs of the Year.
The winners were determined through a voting process involving a panel comprising the CAF Technical Committee, Head Coaches, National Team captains, and media professionals.