Victor Osimhen, the 24-year-old Nigerian forward currently playing for Napoli in Italy, is on the brink of realizing his dream of becoming Africa’s best player after an outstanding season for both his club and national team.
Osimhen, who has harbored this dream for eight years, has been nominated as one of the four top players from the continent for the African Best Player of the Year award. The prestigious CAF Awards ceremony, where the winner will be announced, is scheduled to take place in Rabat, Morocco, on December 11. His fellow nominees include Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City/Algeria), and Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Morocco).
Osimhen’s nomination comes after his remarkable performance as the top scorer in the qualifying tournament for the 2023 AFCON, where he netted 10 goals. Last season, he played a pivotal role in helping Napoli secure the Scudetto, the Italian topflight league title, after a 33-year gap, a feat last achieved with the late Diego Maradona. Osimhen concluded the season as the leading goal scorer in the Italian Serie A, with a total of 26 goals.
Speaking to Italian media, Osimhen expressed his excitement about the prospect of winning the CAF award, saying, “It would mean a lot, a whole lot to me.” He recalled the moment in 2015 when he won the CAF Youth Player of the Year Award and witnessed the best player of the year (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) receiving the honor. Since then, it has been his dream to achieve such a prestigious accolade.
Osimhen now believes he has a significant opportunity to turn this dream into reality and eagerly anticipates the outcome, saying, “I’m really looking forward to it, and hopefully, it comes home.”
Ultimately, Osimhen’s performance in November, especially when Nigeria takes on Lesotho to kick off its 2026 FIFA World Cup campaign, will likely play a decisive role in determining whether he becomes the ultimate winner of the award. The last time a Nigerian player won this title was in 1999 when Nwankwo Kanu received the honor.