Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen is the only Nigeria shortlisted for the 2023 CAF Player of the Year award unveiled on Wednesday.
The list which was released by the Confederation of African Football, saw Osimhen – favourite for the award – battle with 29 other players across the continent.
Osimhen had on Monday, emerged the highest placed African at the 2023 Ballon d’Or, placing eighth.
Other Africans on the list include Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (11), Al Hilal’s Yasine Bounou (13) formerly of Sevilla and Manchester United’s Andre Onana (23)
Past winners Senegal’s Sadio Mane (2019, 2022), Egypt’s Mohammed Salah (2017, 2018) and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez (2016) are Osimhen’s biggest rivals for the award.
Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Yahya Jabrane, Yassine Bounou and Youssef En-Nesyri who were all part of Morocco’s record breaking team which became the first African team to reach the semi-final of the World Cup in Qatar are also in the shortlist.
Also shortlisted were Ghanaian duo Thomas Partey and Mohammed Kudus, Senegal’s Pape Matar Sarr and Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubacar and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
Player of the Year (Men)
1. Ramy Bensebaini (Algeria and Borussia Dortmund)
2. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Al Ahli)
3. Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso and Bayer Leverkusen)
4. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Cameroon and SSC Napoli)
5. Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon and Besiktas)
6. Ibrahima Sangare (Cote d’Ivoire and Nottingham Forest)
7. Seko Fofana (Cote d’Ivoire and Al Nassr)
8. Chancel Mbemba (DR Congo and Olympique Marseille)
9. Fiston Mayele (DR Congo and Pyramids)
10. Mahmoud Abdel Moneim “Kahraba” (Egypt and Ahly)
11. Mohamed Abdelmonem (Egypt and Al Ahly)
12. Mohamed ElShenawy (Egypt and Al Ahly)
13. Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
14. Mohammed Kudus (Ghana and West Ham United)
15. Thomas Partey (Ghana and Arsenal)
16. Serhou Guirassy (Guinea and VfB Stuttgart)
17. Yves Bissouma (Mali and Tottenham Hotspur)
18. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco and Paris Saint-Germain)
19. Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco and Olympique Marseille)
20. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco and Galatasaray)
21. Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco and Manchester United)
22. Yahya Jabrane (Morocco and Wydad Athletic Club)
23. Yassine Bounou (Morocco and Al Hilal)
24. Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco and Sevilla)
25. Peter Shalulile (Namibia and Mamelodi Sundowns)
26. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria and SSC Napoli)
27. Sadio Mane (Senegal and Al Nassr)
28. Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal and Tottenham Hotspur)
29. Percy Tau (South Africa and Al Ahly)
30. Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Tunisia and Ferencvaros)
Osimhen achieved an incredible feat at club level, leading Napoli to their first Italian Serie A title in 33 years and emerging as top scorer with 26 goals – the first African to achieve such feat.
He also led the club to their first-ever quarter-final placement in the UEFA Champions League.
The Nigeria international not only became the first African top scorer in the league, he also became the African with the most goals in the league, surpassing former AC Milan striker and current Liberian president George Weah.
Osimhen also surpassed Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o’s feat to become the African with the most goals in a single Serie A season. Eto’o had found the back of the net 21 times in the 2010/11 campaign.