Super Eagle striker and Napoli star Victor Osimhen has been crowned as the 2023 African Player of the Year.

Osimhen saw off competition from Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.

On Monday, the Super Eagles forward celebrated a remarkable year as he secured a prestigious award, marking a historic achievement in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. This victory concluded Nigeria’s 24-year-long anticipation for Africa’s premier individual accolade, with Kanu Nwankwo being the last Nigerian to claim the honor in 1999.

During the event, Osimhen expressed his gratitude, attributing his success to the influential coaching of Nigerian legend Emmanuel Amuneke during his U-17 days. He also acknowledged the unwavering support of fans from his country and others.

“First of all, I want to say thank you to God for everything. Special thanks go to Mr. Emmanuel Amunike; without him, I don’t think I would be standing in front of you guys holding one of the most prestigious awards in world football,” he told the gathering of the creme-de-la-creme of African football and beyond.

“It’s a dream come true for me. I want to thank everyone who has seen me through life’s journey. In achieving my dreams, in achieving my goals.

“I appreciate Nigerians for their support; I appreciate Africa for putting me on the map, for encouraging me, and for defending me regardless of my shortcomings.

“I also thank Emmanuel Adebayo for his encouragement. Solomon Kalu, I appreciate you. And every African legend that I have looked up to while growing up has inspired me. Didier Drogba, my role model, thank you so much. God bless you all.”

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