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Editorials, Sports

CAF Awards 2023: Nigeria Returns With A Bang

Nigeria made history in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday night, sweeping the Men’s and Women’s CAF Player-of-the-Year Awards.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 12th December 2023

In a spectacular night in Marrakesh, Nigeria made an emphatic return to the CAF Awards, securing victories in four out of the five award categories they were eligible for – marking a remarkable near-clean sweep, a feat not witnessed since the 2010s. While recent years saw Nigeria claim just one or two awards, this exceptional night included unexpected triumphs, notably in the FIFPRO Africa XI for both male and female categories.


As we delve into a recap from a Nigerian perspective, the double success began with Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala clinching the women’s award for the sixth time, maintaining her dominance in the accolade. The winners, determined by a panel comprising CAF’s technical committee, African media professionals, head coaches, and captains, also consider input from clubs engaged in CAF’s continental competitions.




Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, 24, secured his first CAF award after a stellar 2022-23 season. His impressive record included 26 goals in 32 appearances, contributing significantly to Napoli’s Serie A triumph—their first in 33 years. Osimhen’s prowess extended to international competition, with five goals in four Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification matches, propelling Nigeria to the upcoming finals.



His achievements were further recognized with an eighth-place finish in the Ballon d’Or vote, making him the first Nigerian in the top 10, and being honored as a Member of the Federal Republic in Nigeria.




As for Asisat Oshoala, the Barcelona star’s remarkable year continued with her record-extending sixth Women’s Player of the Year title. Her achievement overshadowed strong competition from Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Barbra Banda of Zambia.



The Super Falcons of Nigeria were not left out of the celebration, securing the Women’s National Team of the Year award. Paris FC’s Chiamaka Nnadozie, a standout performer, claimed the women’s goalkeeper award.




The CAF Team of the Year 2023, compiled by FIFPRO Africa, showcased Nigeria’s football prowess. Three Super Falcons players – Michelle Alozie, Ohale Osinachi, and Oshoala – earned spots in the prestigious Women’s Africa XI team. Surprisingly, Nnadozie, hailed as the continent’s best goalkeeper, was notably absent. Victor Osimhen, reflecting his outstanding season and continental impact, stood as the sole Nigerian representative in the Men’s Africa XI team.


Nigeria’s triumph at the CAF Awards 2023 underscored the nation’s resurgence on the football stage, with its athletes making an indelible mark on the African and global football landscape.

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