Seven Moroccans Threaten Osimhen’s Player of the Year Prospect

Seven Moroccans Threaten Osimhen’s Player of the Year Prospect

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Victor Osimhen’s dream of winning the 2023 CAF African Player of the Year is facing serious challenge from seven Moroccans who led the Atlas Lions to a semi final finish at the last FIFA World Cup in Qatar last December.

The SSC Napoli front man led the Partenopei to a third Scudetto after over three decades last season, scoring 26 goals in the process. 

However, with CAF release of a 30-man list, dominated by seven Moroccans in the fray for the coveted award,  Osimhen will no longer have it easy despite  finishing as Africa’s top player in the 8th spot in France Football’s Ballon d’Or Award on Tuesday night.

In the running for the top prize are; Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bonou, Hakim Ziyech, Sofyan Amrabat, Youssef En-Nesyri and Yahya Jabrane all from Morocco’s 2022 World Cup squad.

Also in the line for the African Player of the Year award is  Egypt and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, his former Reds teammate, Sadio Mane , who similarly led Senegal’s Teranga Lions to AFCON 2021 in Cameroon. There is Ghana’s Thomas Partey whose goal against Francis Uzoho at the Abuja Stadium earned the Black Stars an away win that stopped Super Eagles from qualifying for the Mundial in Qatar.

Another Ghanaian forward, Mohammed Kudus is also on the list of the award to be given on December 11 in Marrekesh, Morocco.

Nwankwo Kanu is last Nigerian to win the award in 1999. Before Kanu, Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amuneke, and Victor Ikpeba similarly won the coveted prize.

The other Nigerian nominated in another is Gift Orban, the Gent of Belgium scoring sensation.

The Benue State-born Orban has been nominated for the CAF Young Player of the Year. Since January,  Orban, 21, has scored 27 goals in all competitions for Belgian club KAA Gent since his transfer from Norwegian club Stabaek.

Player of the Year Nominees

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)

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