2023 CAF Awards: Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie make histories
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2023 CAF Awards: Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie make histories

Dec. 11, 2023

2023 CAF Awards: Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie make histories

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala won the biggest individual awards at the CAF Awards 2023 in the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Monday.

Osimhen, the Nigerian striker who made headlines in Italy and also for his contribution in the Super Eagles jersey, won the CAF African Player of the Year for the first time.

However, his compatriot, Oshoala claimed the award for a record sixth CAF African Women’s Player of the Year.

Osimhen's remarkable journey saw him fend off stiff competition from Moroccan full-back Achraf Hakimi and Egyptian striker Mohammed Salah.

Napoli hot-shot won the coveted prize after firing his club to a first Serie A title in over three decades.

The honour capped a remarkable year for the powerful front man who also fired Nigeria to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with 10 goals to finish as the top scorer of the qualifiers.

The Italy-based striker plundered 27 goals across all fronts as the Napoli entertainers lit up Italian football.

In doing so, the 24-year-old became the first Napoli player to finish top scorer in Italian football since Diego Maradona in 1987/88.

Osimhen is now the first Nigerian winner of the men's award since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999 after another prolific campaign.

His goals propelled Napoli to their first Serie A crown since the days of Maradona - a triumph few predicted last summer.

And with a historic title under his belt, Osimhen's victory was just reward after a season that demonstrated his development into one of Europe's most fearsome No.9s.

Despite being knocked out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Lagos-born striker had 10 goals in the tournament, with seven of them coming against São Tomé and Principe.

Having made his official senior debut for the Super Eagles in June 2017, Osimhen had never looked back, with 20 goals in his name out of 27 appearances.

Nigerian icon Oshoala secured the CAF Women's Player of the Year for a record sixth time.

The attacker’s dominance continued as she inspired Barcelona to Champions League glory, finishing as the club's top scorer with 27 goals across all competitions.

The triumph is Oshoala's sixth time winning the award, pulling clear as the footballer with the most wins.

Oshoala, who plays club football for Barcelona, beat South Africa’s Thembi Klagtlana and Zambia’s Barbara Banda to the award.

She played a key role in Barcelona Femeni’s UEFA Women’s Champions League success last season.

The Barcelona Femeni star becomes the first woman to claim the award for a record sixth time. 

Recall Oshoala was also a 2023 Ballon d’Or nominee.

Nigerian shot-stopper Chiamaka Nnadozie also landed her first-ever CAF Women's Goalkeeper of the Year award.

The Paris FC captain beat fellow nominees Khadija Er-Rmichi of Morocco and South Africa's Andile Dlamini to the groundbreaking prize at a dazzling CAF Awards ceremony in Marrakech.

Nnadozie underlined her credentials during this year's Women's World Cup, producing a player-of-the-match performance to thwart Canada in Nigeria's opener.

Her heroic hands pulled off a crucial penalty save and several other gravity-defying stops throughout the tournament.

The 25-year-old has also been integral in Paris FC's success this season, keeping six clean sheets as they sealed a maiden Women's Champions League qualification.

As the winner of this history-making new category, the Super Falcons star has certainly set the bar high with her shot-stopping heroics.

With Nnadozie guarding the goal, opponents will face an even tougher task of finding the back of the net against tenacious Nigeria.

After her amazing year between the sticks, Nnadozie now has some coveted individual silverware to show for her efforts.

Also at the event, the Nigerian Women’s National Team was awarded the National Team of the Year (Women) award.

The Super Falcons were amongst the three African nations that historically reached the FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16 at last year’s global showpiece alongside Morocco and South Africa.

Monday’s accolade sees the Super Falcons of Nigeria being the most awarded women’s national team in this category with their record now extending to five National Team of the Year awards in the women’s category.

The newly crowned national team of the year was nominated along with Morocco and South Africa.

The last time they won this award was in 2018.

Morocco's Walid Regragui was also crowned CAF's Best Coach of the Year in the Men's category – recognised for guiding the Atlas Lions to a historic World Cup semi-final run in Qatar.

South Africa's Desiree Ellis secured the Best Coach award in the women's category for her outstanding work with Banyana Banyana. This was Ellis’ record fourth award in this category, which she has won consistently since 2018.

In CAF InterClub, South Africa and Al Ahly’s Percy Tau won the CAF InterClub Player of the Year.

Senegal's Lamine Camara, the 19-year-old FC Metz forward, clinched the CAF Young Player of the Year award, marking his meteoric rise in African football.

Moroccan prodigy Nesryne El Chad won the inaugural CAF Women's Young Player of the Year award.

Morocco won the Men’s National Team award following their performance at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Egyptian giants Al Ahly clinched the Male Club of the Year award, with the women’s award going to South African side Mamelodi Sundowns.

South Africa dominated the continent’s Best XI players in the Women Category while two members of Morocco’s World Cup semi-final team were included in the male version.

The ultimate winners in each category were decided through a voting process involving a panel comprising CAF Technical Committee, Head Coaches, National Team captains and media professionals.

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