Super Falcons forward and record winner of African Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala alongside her international teammates Chiamaka Nnadozie, Christy Ucheibe, Osinachi Ohale, Toni Payne, Uchenna Kanu and Rasheedat Ajibade made the 30-woman list for the 2023 Confederation of African (CAF) Women’s Player of the Year award.
The nomination list released by the football association on Tuesday had 30 female players across Africa, with Nigeria having the highest number of nominees.
The 2023 CAF awards which will be held on December 11 in Marrakech, Morocco.
Also, Super Falcons’ head coach, Randy Waldrum, was listed as one of the nominees for coach of the year while Deborah Abiodun, Esther Ajakaye and Oluwatosin Demehin were nominated for Best Young Player of the Year.
Nigeria and Barcelona talisman Oshoala was the recipient of the 2022 CAF Women’s Player of the Year award and a fifth record holder of the award.
The 29-year-old has previously won the in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019 respectively and is the first African to win this prestigious for a record five times, overtaking Perpetua Nkwocha who claimed the accolade on four occasions
Oshoala scored a brace in the LIGA F fixture against Villarreal and added to her season’s tally of six goals in eight matches across all competitions this season.
Impressively, the former Arsenal player has scored 5 goals in 7 matches so far in the Primera Division Women 2023/2024 season.
She was part of the first team in the history of Barcelona to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She also went down in football history by winning the first treble in club history.
The quick and strong striker Barcelona Fermini striker is also in pole position to claim her sixth CAF Women’s Best Player Award following her brilliant outing for Nigeria and Barcelona in the year under review.
Super Falcons captain and Atletico Madrid striker Ajibade is also one of the Nigerian shining stars on the nominees list for the 2023 CAF Women’s Player of the Year award.
She is nicknamed “RASH”, a shortened form of her first name, and is also called “The Girl with The Blue Hair”, an ode to her bright-blue hairstyle.
Ajibade has been a reliable performer for the Super Falcons and an important component for Atletico Madrid. Last season, the attacker scored nine goals in 28 games for the Spanish club.
Ajibade represented Nigeria at age-grade competitions, before making her competitive debut for the senior team at the 2018 WAFU Cup in Côte d’Ivoire. In 2017, she was named first in a top 10 list of most promising young footballers on the African continent by Goal.com.
The former Robo FC player will compete with other Super Falcons stars for the prestigious CAF Women’s Best Player Award to be held in Morocco.
Following her heroics at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and her club side for Paris FC in the French Division 1 Feminine, Super Falcons goalkeeper Nnadozie also leads the shortlist for CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year.
At age 19, the Nigerian goalkeeper rose to stardom and made history after becoming the youngest-ever goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in Nigeria’s 2-0 victory over Korea at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Nnadozie played three games in France, showcasing confidence and authority on a level more commonly associated with seasoned professionals.
Her effort helped Nigeria win the African Women’s Championship title in 2018 and was nominated for the NFF Awards Young Player of the Year.
Nnadozie captained the Super Falcons in their first game against Olympic champions Canada at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she made three crucial saves, including stopping a penalty from Christine Sinclair, earning herself the Player of the Match award.
With Nnadozie’s exceptional goalkeeping skills and outstanding performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Super Falcons goalie is the fan’s favourite to clinch the CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Payne is a professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish Liga F club Sevilla FC Femenino.
Born in the United States to Nigerian parents, in 2019, Payne declared her intention to switch her international career to Nigeria and made her senior debut on February 18 2021.
The 28-year-old attacking midfield maestro was also impressive for Super Falcons in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and making the list of nominees for the 2023 CAF Women’s Awards is a laudable achievement for the Nigerian star.
Payne has made six appearances, scored one goal and assisted this season in the Spanish LF.
Payne was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama to Nigerian parents. She is the older sister of fellow footballers Stephen and Nicole Payne.
Super Falcons striker Kanu was part of Nigeria’s squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup where she made four appearances for Nigeria, scoring a goal in the group stage against co-hosts Australia on the way to a round of 16.
The 26-year-old striker plays as a forward for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)L club Racing Louisville in the United States
Kanu has seven goals in 20 appearances for Nigeria, including a sensational goal against the U.S. Women’s National Team in a September 2022 friendly and two more scores at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations
Veteran Super Falcons defender Ohale had an outstanding outing at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, where her performances caught the attention of several clubs.
The 31-year-old experienced centre-back was a key figure in the Super Falcons’ campaign, featuring prominently in all four of the team’s matches throughout the tournament.
Remarkable among her standout moments at the 2023 World Cup was her goal in Nigeria’s 3-2 win over Australia.
The former Real Madrid defender has represented Nigeria at four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023.
She also has four African Women’s Championship tournaments to her name, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018. She has won the competition on all four occasions.
Ucheibe, Super Falcons combative and power-playing midfielder had a sterling outing at the FIFA 2023 World Cup where she was ranked the sixth-best tackler for the tournament.
Ucheibe plies her trade as a midfielder for Portugal’s Benfica and left an indelible mark on the tournament with an impressive total of 36 successful tackles. Her tenacity and skill in dispossessing opponents highlighted her pivotal role in the team’s defensive strategies, earning her the recognition she rightfully deserves.
Ucheibe’s ranking as the sixth-best tackler at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup serves as a bold statement about her impeccable talent as a born and skilful footballer.
Also making the nominees list for the 2023 CAF Women’s Player Award will serve as a motivation for her to keep improving for the national team.