Victor Osimhen clinched the title of the 2023 African Footballer of the Year, reaffirming his global prominence in a standout moment. Besting contenders Achraf Hakimi of Morocco and Mohamed Salah of Egypt, Osimhen’s victory concluded an exceptional year for the Super Eagles forward, ending Nigeria’s 24-year wait for Africa’s top individual honor. The last Nigerian to claim this accolade was Kanu Nwankwo in 1999.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Expressing gratitude at the awards ceremony, Osimhen credited Nigerian legend Emmanuel Amuneke, his coach at the U-17 level, and fans for their impact on his journey. The Napoli striker’s stellar year included a historic Serie A title win, where he notched 26 goals, securing the Pichichi award as the league’s top scorer—a feat that surpassed George Weah’s record.
Acknowledging support from Nigerians and Africans alike, Osimhen thanked influential figures such as Emmanuel Adebayo, Solomon Kalu, and role model Didier Drogba. His achievements extended to the Ballon d’Or, where he ranked ninth, the highest for an African in the award’s history. Additionally, Osimhen became the first African to be crowned Italian footballers’ association player of the Year.
Despite Nigeria’s World Cup setback, Osimhen’s prolific contributions, including being the top scorer in the AFCON qualification race with 10 goals, showcased his resilience. Despite facing injuries in the current Napoli season, his remarkable year culminated in the 2023 African Footballer of the Year title, marking a pinnacle in his successful journey.