Super Eagles and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, will battle Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi for the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year award.
Osimhen is hoping to become the first Nigerian since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999 to win the award.
Other Super Eagles players, Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke and Victor Ikpeba are the only other Nigerians who had won the prestigious award.
But Nwankwo is the most successful of them all as he remains the only Nigerian to have won the award twice in 1996 and 1999.
Only recently in Milan, the 24-year-old Osimhen was named the Italian Footballers’ Association (AIC) Player of the Year for the 2022/23 Serie A season.
He won the Golden Boot award at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Nigeria won and made his senior international debut in June 2017, he also played at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
He currently sits fourth on the list of Nigeria’s all-time leading goal scorers.
Salah, on the other hand, has been a recipient of the award after winning it twice in 2017 and 2018, while Achraf Hakimi could become the first Moroccan to win the award after Mustapha Hadji in 1998.
Other Nigerians who made the final shortlist in their different categories include Asisat Oshoala, Deborah Abiodun and Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Oshoala is in the running to defend her Women’s Player of the Year award as she is in the three-player shortlist. Barbara Banda of Zambia and Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa make up the shortlist.
Chiamaka Nnadozie is in contention for Goalkeeper of the Year. Deborah Abiodun also made the final nominee for Women’s Young Player of the Year award.
Earlier CAF shortlisted Nigeria for the 2023 Women’s National Team of the Year alongside Morocco and South Africa.
CAF awards today in Morocco will take place this evening at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech.