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Victor Osimhen: Why Nigeria Star Should Win 2023 African Player of the Year Award
- Victor Osimhen has made the final shortlist for the CAF Player of the Year
- The Nigerian will face competition from Achraf Hakimi and Mohamed Salah
- The award ceremony will be held in Marrakech next week
The final three-man shortlist for the 2023 Africa Player of the Year has been announced with Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, set to compete with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Achraf Hakimi for the top award.
With barely a week to go before the awards ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco, Osimhen has emerged as the favourite to win the gong.
His competitors Salah and Hakimi have not been close in terms of the recent achievements of the 24-year-old.
Although both had their moments in the year under review, Osimhen's historic title charge with Napoli and the fact that he was the first African to win the Serie A Golden Boot places him above the rest.
Why Osimhen is favourite for CAF PoTY
As noted earlier, Osimhen won the Serie A title and the Golden Boot in Italy. What makes his achievement remarkable is that it was the first time the Naples-based club won the title in 33 years. The last man to lead Napoli to success is one of the greatest to ever play the game, Diego Armando Maradona.
In a league that has seen players like George Weah and Samuel Eto'o, it was Osimhen who would go on to win the top scorers award.
Osimhen scored 31 goals in 39 matches for Napoli last season and was the top-scorer during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with ten strikes, per Transfermarkt.
The only down to his year were his absence at the Africa Cup of Nations (due to injury) and the World Cup (failed to qualify).
Why Salah and Hakimi are not close to Osimhen
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Salah has had a good year, scoring and breaking many records, however, the Egyptian failed to win silverware with either Liverpool or the Pharaohs. Ultimately, Egypt lost in the final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to Senegal and also failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Hakimi enjoyed a fairytale year, where he played a pivotal role in Morocco's World Cup run. He also won the league with PSG.
Despite his successes with club and country, his contributions were not as immense as Osimhens'.
Who could have been Osimhen's main competitor?
The argument could have been broadened with the inclusion of former Manchester City winger, Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian won the treble with Manchester City, scoring a hat-trick in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
He moved to Saudi Arabia in the summer transfer window.
CAF names final shortlist for CAF PoTY
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Earlier, Sports Brief reported that CAF have put forward their final three in the Player of the Year category.
The continental body cut seven names from their shortlist, adding some spice before Monday night's glamourous awards ceremony.
Among those to miss out are Al-Nassr's Sadio Mane, Manchester United's Sofyan Amrabat, and Sevilla's Yousef En Nesyri.