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Massive Anticipation as CAF Awards Set to Unveil Top Footballers

The stage is set for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to reveal the outstanding African Footballers of the Year in both male and female categories, with football enthusiasts converging in Marrakech, Morocco for the prestigious Gala and Awards today.

In the spotlight for the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year are Victor Osimhen, the prolific striker from Super Eagles and Napoli, competing against Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi.

Osimhen aims to follow in the footsteps of Nwankwo Kanu, the last Nigerian to claim the award in 1999. Notable past winners include Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke, and Victor Ikpeba, with Nwankwo being the most decorated, securing the honour twice in 1996 and 1999.

Recently named the Italian Footballers’ Association (AIC) Player of the Year, Osimhen stands out as the fourth all-time highest goal scorer for the Nigeria national team. His eighth-place ranking in the 2023 Ballon d’Or marks a historic achievement for Nigerian football.

Mohamed Salah, a two-time recipient in 2017 and 2018, and Achraf Hakimi, eyeing to be the first Moroccan winner since Mustapha Hadji in 1998, intensify the competition.

The excitement extends to the female category, featuring Nigerian talents Asisat Oshoala, Deborah Abiodun, and Chiamaka Nnadozie. Oshoala defends her Women’s Player of the Year title against Zambia’s Barbara Banda and South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana.

Nnadozie vies for Goalkeeper of the Year, while Abiodun contends for Women’s Young Player of the Year.

Earlier, CAF shortlisted Nigeria for the 2023 Women’s National Team of the Year, alongside Morocco and South Africa.

The Awards Gala, scheduled at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco, promises an evening of celebration and recognition for the continent’s football elite.

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