Nigeria’s Oshoala and Osimhen win African footballer of the year awards

Photograph: Jalal Morchidi/EPA

Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has been named the African men’s footballer of the year while his compatriot, Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, claimed the top prize in the women’s category.

Osimhen scored 26 goals, topping the Serie A scoring charts as he helped Napoli end a 33-year wait for the Italian title last season. Liverpool forward Salah and Paris Saint-Germain’s Moroccan wing-back, Achraf Hakimi, were the other two final nominees.

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“It is a dream come true,” the 24-year-old Osimhen said at the ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco. “I have to thank everybody who has helped me on this journey, and all Africans who have helped to put me on the map despite my faults.”

The Napoli striker is the first Nigerian player to win the award since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999. Senegal’s Sadio Mané had won the previous two awards, in 2019 and 2022. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) and Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) have each won the award four times.

Oshoala was named the African women’s footballer of the year for a record sixth time. She overcame injury to help Nigeria reach the last 16 at the 2023 World Cup, where they were beaten by England on penalties. Oshoala scored in the 3-2 group stage win over Australia, finding the net for a third consecutive World Cup.

The 29-year-old also won the Women’s Champions League and Spanish title with Barcelona. Oshoala beat South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana and Zambia’s Barbra Banda to claim the award, which she also won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Morocco won men’s team of the year after their thrilling run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar last year, while their manager Walid Regragui won the men’s coach of the year award.

Nigeria took home the trophy for women’s team of the year, while South Africa’s Desiree Ellis won the women’s coach award for the fourth time in succession.

The awards are voted for by panel made up of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) technical committee, African journalists and broadcasters, and head coaches and captains of national teams and leading African clubs.


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