African Footballer of the Year 2024: Top 5 Early Contenders for Award Including Victor Boniface

African Footballer of the Year 2024: Top 5 Early Contenders for Award Including Victor Boniface

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at April 23, 2024 at 6:23 AM
In this article:
Victor Okoh Boniface logo
V. O. Boniface
Bayer Leverkusen logoFNigeria logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Mohammed Kudus logo
West Ham United logoMGhana logo
Sehrou Guirassy logo
S. Guirassy
VfB Stuttgart logoFFrance logo
Mohamed Salah logo
M. Salah
Liverpool logoFEgypt logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Ghana logo
Nigeria logo
Guinea logo
Egypt logo
  • The race for the African Footballer of the Year is heating up
  • Napoli and Nigeria star, Victor Osimhen, won the 2023 award
  • Leverkusen star, Victor Boniface, is leading this year's title race

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Just four months into 2024 and the race for the African Footballer of the Year is shaping up nicely.

Nigeria's Victor Osimhen won last year's prize but is having a forgettable 2023/24 season at Napoli, making it unlikely he will defend that title.

Several other African stars are enjoying incredible seasons so far and will likely be serious contenders for the award.

Victor Boniface, Mohammed Kudus, Mohamed Salah, Serhou Guirassy, Victor Osimhen, CAF Awards, Bayer Leverkusen, Napoli, West Ham, AFCON
Victor Boniface and Mohammed Kudus are having breakout seasons at their clubs this season. Photos by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto and Jacques Feeney/Offside.
Source: Getty Images

Osimhen led Napoli to their first Serie A title in over three decades and became the first-ever African to win the Serie A Golden Boot.

In the 2022/23 season, the Super Eagles star scored 31 goals in all competitions. This season, he has 15 with only a few games left in the season and will surely not match that tally.

So, who are the top contenders for the award? Sports Brief looks at the top five.

2024 African Footballer of the Year rankings

5. Victor Osimhen - Napoli and Nigeria

The Nigerian superstar is having a difficult season at Napoli this season. His team has failed to mount a successful title defence and is eighth in the table, 34 points behind leaders, Inter Milan, with six games to go.

The reigning African Footballer of the Year has scored 15 goals all season and will end up without a trophy.

Osimhen had a decent AFCON campaign with the Super Eagles but he has scored just seven goals in 2024. He will need a sharp turn of form to defend his award.

4. Mohammed Kudus - West Ham United and Ghana

Kudus has become a fan favourite at West Ham in his first season at the club. Although he is using this season to settle at the club, the Ghanaian forward has done well. He has scored 17 goals this season in 44 appearances in all competitions.

The former Ajax star is playing on a team with a defensive style, and with David Moyes likely to leave at the end of the season, the 23-year-old could get even better.

He has scored more goals than Osimhen and could get to 20 before the season ends.

3. Mohamed Salah - Liverpool and Egypt

The Egyptian star has won the award twice and has been looking for his third. The last time he won was in 2018. This season, despite Liverpool's struggles, he has registered another 20-goal season.

He barely featured for Egypt at the 2023 AFCON due to injury. However, only Erling Haaland, Ollie Watkins, and Dominic Solanke have scored more Premier League goals than him this season.

The Liverpool winger was a finalist in last year's award. Can he go a step further this year?

2. Serhou Guirassy - Guinea and Stuttgart

The Guinean striker is putting together a historic campaign at Stuttgart. Guirassy has scored 25 goals in the Bundesliga and 27 in all competitions. Only Bayern Munich's Harry Kane (33) has scored more than him.

His exceptional performances have helped Stuttgart fight for a Champions League spot. They are third with four matches left in the season.

Guirassy has attracted interest across Europe this season and would likely leave the German side.

1. Victor Boniface - Nigeria and Bayer Leverkusen

Despite missing four months of action, Boniface played a vital role in Bayer Leverkusen's historic Bundesliga triumph. The Nigeria striker is the top scorer for his club this season, with 18 goals.

He has won the Bundesliga and could likely end up winning the treble at the club at the end of the season. If he accomplishes that, the African Footballer of the Year award will be his to lose.

His injury prevented him from challenging Harry Kane for the Golden Boot.

Osimhen voted Africa's top player of 2023

Sports Brief earlier reported on Osimhen winning the 2023 African Player of the Year award.

The Napoli star beat Liverpool ace, Salah, and Paris Saint-Germain right-back, Achraf Hakimi.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.