Nigeria’s Osimhen Wins Italian Players’ Award

Nigeria’s Osimhen Wins Italian Players’ Award

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has earned the prestigious title of the Italian Footballers’ Association Player of the Year in recognition of his outstanding performances for Napoli during the previous season.

This recognition comes on the heels of Osimhen’s pivotal role in securing Napoli’s first league title in 33 years.
His remarkable achievement includes scoring 26 goals in Serie A during the 2022-23 season, surpassing George Weah’s record as the highest-scoring African player in the Italian top flight.

Setting a historic precedent, the former Lille and Wolfsburg striker became the first African player ever to receive the AIC award, joining the ranks of football luminaries such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and last year’s recipient, Rafael Leao.

Expressing gratitude for the honor, Osimhen, who was also named in the Serie A team of the year, conveyed his thanks to family, friends, and supporters for their votes and unwavering support in a message posted on social media.

Despite grappling with injuries this season, the 24-year-old has managed to net six goals in 10 league games since his return to action as a substitute in the match against Atalanta on November 25. Building on his recent achievements, Osimhen, who secured the eighth spot in the 2023 men’s Ballon d’Or, harbors hopes of becoming the first Nigerian player to clinch the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Men’s Player of the Year award since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.

In a double celebration for Africa, Malawi’s Tabitha Chawinga claimed the AIC Women’s Prize after finishing as the top scorer in Serie A Femminile with 23 goals for Inter Milan last season. Despite this achievement, she was surprisingly excluded from the shortlist for the CAF African Women’s Player of the Year award. The winners of the CAF awards are set to be announced on Monday, December 11, in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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