Victor Osimhen, a striker for Nigeria, was awarded the title of African Footballer of the Year after he triumphed against Mohamed Salah to win the honor at a ceremony held in Marrakech on Monday. Asisat Oshoala, another Nigerian, was awarded the top medal in the women’s category.
The 24-year-old Osimhen was the highest goalscorer in Italy’s premier division during the previous season when he scored 26 goals for Napoli and helped the team to an unexpected victory in Serie A.
The other final nominees were Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, who plays forward for Liverpool, and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi, who plays right back for Paris Saint-Germain. However, Osimhen emerged victorious and became the first Nigerian soccer player to win the award since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.
“It is a dream with a happy ending. I would want to express my gratitude to everyone who has assisted me along this trip, as well as to all Africans who have contributed to putting me on the map in spite of my shortcomings,” Osimhen added.
After an exciting run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar, Morocco was awarded the title of National Team of the Year in the men’s category. Additionally, Walid Regragui, the manager of the Moroccan team, was awarded the title of Coach of the Year.
Oshoala, a forward for Barcelona, was awarded the women’s African Footballer of the Year award for a record sixth time. She had to overcome an injury in order to lead her team to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where they faced England on penalties.
The prize for National Team of the Year was awarded to Nigeria; however, Desiree Ellis of South Africa was awarded the title of Women’s Coach of the Year for the fourth year in a row.