A new African Footballer of the Year will be crowned on December 11, 2023, at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco. and it is going to be one of Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi and Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah.
CAF released the final three nominees just four days before the ceremony after an initial list of 30 was cut down to 10 and now to the last three nominees.
Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen is viewed as the frontrunner for his exploits with Napoli last season but he has to contend with Achraf Hakimi who was a key part of Morocco’s FIFA World Cup exploits in Qatar 2022 and Mohamed Salah who once again had a stellar individual season.
Osimhen was in top form last season with 26 goals to help Napoli end a 33-year wait for the Italian Serie A title, while also becoming the first African top scorer in Italian top-flight history.
His exploits have been recognised with awards as he was named the Serie A striker of the year and also recently won the AIC Player of the Year award.
Osimhen also finished eighth on the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings making him the highest-placed African and will now be looking to add the CAF Player of the Year award to his collection.
If Osimhen does win the prestigious award on Monday night, he will become the first Nigerian to do so since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999, putting an end to the long drought.
Standing in Osimhen’s way is the North African duo of Mohamed Salah and Achraf Hakimi, the latter of which has a very strong case to win the award himself.
Hakimi played all seven games for Morocco as they became the first-ever African team to reach the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup tournament.
The right-back also scored five and assisted six goals in 39 games across all competitions for his club PSG en route to a Ligue 1 title win.