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#CAFAwards2023: Meet Victor Osimhen who breaks 24-year drought,to win African Footballer of the year

Victor Osimhen is the first Nigerian to win the #CAFAwards2023 Men African Footballer of the Year award in 24 years. The last recipient was Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.
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The #CAFAwards2023 award not only acknowledges Osimhen’s individual brilliance but also symbolizes his contribution to Nigerian football. His achievement follows in the footsteps of legendary players like Nwankwo Kanu, who last claimed the prestigious award for Nigeria in 1999.

Meet Victor James Osimhen

Victor James Osimhen MFR (born 29 December 1998) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team. Considered one of the best strikers in the world, as well as one of the best players in the world, he is known for his elite finishing, pace, strength and athleticism.

Born in Nigeria, Osimhen began his senior career in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. Following a season and a half at the club, he moved to Belgian side Charleroi on loan in 2018–19, before moving to France at Lille. He made his European football debut with the French club during the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League. In 2020, Osimhen transferred to Serie A club Napoli for a club-record fee of €70 million. He won the Serie A Best Young Player award in the 2021–22 season and, in the following season, helped the club win their first Serie A title in 33 years. He is the highest goalscoring African in the Serie A and currently holds the record for the most goals scored by an African in a single season.

Osimhen won the Golden Boot award at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Nigeria won.He made his senior international debut in June 2017 and played at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He is currently the fourth all-time highest goalscorer of the Nigeria national team. On 29 May 2023, Osimhen was made a Member of the Federal Republic by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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On the 11 December 2023, Osimhen was awarded the Best male Player of the year in Africa at the 2023 CAF award night, the first Nigerian since Kanu Nnamkwo in 1999, 24 years earlier.

He was ranked number 8 in the 2023 Ballon d’Or award which was held in Paris, France and became the first Nigerian to make the top ten of the Ballon d’Or. On the 11th of December, 2023, Osimhen was awarded the Best male Player of the year in Africa at the 2023 CAF award night, the first Nigerian since Kanu Nnamkwo in 1999.

Osimhen is a Christian. He has stated that he has drawn inspiration from Sadio Mané, who helps his community in Senegal, and has said he wants to help disabled people throughout Africa.Osimhen announced the birth of his first child, a daughter named Haly, born October 2022.

Osimhen was born in Lagos, to parents from Edo State. He grew up in the Olusosun area in Oregun/Ojota of Lagos State. Growing up, his footballing idol was Didier Drogba

Despite being a reported target of several European clubs, French Ligue 1 club Lille confirmed the transfer of Osimhen on 1 August 2019, signing a five-year contract. The transfer fee was reported to be priced at €12 million plus another €3m in various bonuses and add-ons. Upon his arrival, he told the club’s official website: “Lille is a very good club which has a quality project and high-class players, and especially these last years. Great Nigerian players (Peter Odemwingie and Vincent Enyeama) have also played here.Osimhen was given the number 7, which was previously worn by Rafael Leão.

Ten days after the move, he made his Ligue 1 debut for the club on 11 August, scoring a brace in a 2–1 win against Nantes.Two weeks later, he scored another brace in a 3–0 home win against Saint-Étienne for his third game in France, his performance earning him a rating of 8/10 in French sports newspaper L’Équipe.

Osimhen was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Month for September 2019, having scored two goals and assisted two more in Lille’s five league matches. He then scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League on 2 October 2019, coming in a 1–2 home defeat to English side Chelsea.In March, a report published by the league showed that Osimhen was the player who has most broken the 35 km/h (21.75 mph) barrier with seven sprints above this speed, ahead of Kylian Mbappé. The Nigerian finished the season as Lille’s top scorer, with 13 goals in 25 domestic championship matches, and 18 goals across all competitions.

His good season and strong goalscoring performances earned him the 2020 Prix Marc-Vivien Foé, a prize awarded to the best African player in the French championship,and saw Osimhen tipped by many to be in running for the African Footballer of the Year award in the near future.On 2 June 2020, he was awarded Lille’s Player of the Season, having secured the highest number of votes from fans.

As Osimhen continues to make strides in his career, fans eagerly anticipate his future contributions to both club and country. The award serves as a testament to his dedication, skill, and the promising future he holds in the world of football.

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