• Monday, December 04, 2023
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Amuneke backs Osimhen to win CAF Men’s Player Award

Osimhen reflects on rejecting €200m Saudi Arabia offer

Former Super Eagles assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has tipped Napoli and Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen to win the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year Award scheduled to take place on December 11, in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Nigerian striker tops the list of 30-man nominees for the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year Award and also finished eighth in the 2023 FIFA Men’s Ballon d’Or Award, becoming the first Nigerian to make the top 10 of the Ballon d’Or voting.

The 24-year-old Napoli star was in impressive form for the Parthenopeans last season where he helped the team clinch the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years.

Osimhen bagged an incredible 31 goals in 39 matches across all competitions for Napoli last season and has continued his fantastic scoring record this campaign, as he has already netted six goals in 10 matches.

The winner will be announced next month at a ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco, and could see Osimhen become the first Nigerian to clinch the honour since former Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.

Amuneke, who scored two goals in the final against Zambia to help Nigeria win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, and was named the African Player of the Year in 1994 hopes Osimhen clinches the CAF Award for the first time.

Read also: Osimhen returns to Napoli on Friday

“We hope Osimhen wins the CAF Award with what he has done for his club and the national team,” Amuneke told BBC Sport Africa

“Regardless of not playing at the World Cup [held in Qatar last year], he has been able to establish himself as a worthy contender.”

Amuneke, who was Osimhen’s coach at U-17, praised Osimhen’s desire to achieve and succeed with the national team and at club level.
“There is no doubt about his character, in terms of his desire and zeal to achieve something, succeed and win,” Amuneke added.

“As a coach at youth level, that was something that made me admire him. That is one of the best [attributes] for a player to make it to the highest stage.”

The former Lille forward also finished top scorer in qualifying for the 2023 AFCON with 10 goals and is in pole position to claim the 2023 CAF Men’s Player Award.

The winner of each category will be decided after votes from a voting panel consisting of the CAF Technical Committee, media professionals, Head Coaches and Captains of Member Associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions.

Senegal forward Sadio Mane was crowned CAF Player of the Year in July 2022 in Rabat, Morocco.