The continent will on Monday night recognize the 2023 CAF Player of the Year award winner for the year in review. The ceremony will be held in Marrakech, Morocco, 11 December 2023.
Nigeria and Morocco football stars in the person of Victor Osimhen and Achraf Hakimi, will be going toe-to-toe for the most prestigious Player of the Year award prize. Both players have had a spectacular year in review for club and country.
Osimhen was key in Napoli's march to a record-breaking Scudetto win in 33 years, scoring 26 Serie A league goals and helping Nigeria qualify for the 2023 AFCON tournament with 10 goals scored during the qualifiers.
The 24-year-old won the Serie A Best Striker and Serie A Player of the Year awards, he also came 8th in the Ballon d'Or rankings and has been nominated for the Globe Soccer Award.
On the other hand, Hakimi was crucial in Morocco's run to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He showcased brilliance both defensively and offensively for coach Regragui's side who defeated European giants along the way.
Hakimi was also a key player in the PSG team that won the French Ligue 1 last season.
Between Osimhen and Hakimi, whoever takes home the award will be a deserved winner and a boost for Nigeria or Morocco in their number of CAF Player of the Year awards.
Nigeria or Morocco? Country with most CAF Player of the Year awards
As we look forward to the next crowning moment of African football stars, we'll try and answer which country has the most CAF Player of the Year awards.
We'll also take a look at CAF Player of the Year winners between Nigeria and Morocco.
Nigeria men's category – 5 CAF Player of the Year awards
Late Super Eagles striker Rashidi Yekini was the first Nigerian player to win the prestigious African Player of the Year award following his explosive goalscoring form for club and country in 1993.
Since then, three other Nigerian footballers have gone on to pick the award with Nwankwo Kanu picking it twice and being the last Nigeria to win the illustrious award.
Nigerian winners of the CAF player of the year awards at a glance:
- 1993 – Rashidi Yekini
- 1994 – Emmanuel Amunike
- 1996 – Nwankwo Kanu
- 1997 – Victor Ikpeba
- 1999 – Nwankwo Kanu
Nigeria women's category – 12 CAF Player of the Year awards
Super Falcons legend Mercy Akide became the first Nigerian female footballer to win the CAF player of the Year prize in 2001 while as a player for San Diego Spirits in California, United States.
Other Nigerian female stars followed her achievements with Perpetua Nkwocha and Asisat Oshoala going on to win the award on multiple occasions. Oshoala is the record all-time winner of the award with five under her name.
Nigerian past winners of the CAF Women Footballer of the Year
- 2001 – Mercy Akide
- 2004 – Perpetua Nkwocha
- 2005 – Perpetua Nkwocha
- 2006 – Cynthia Uwak
- 2007 – Cynthia Uwak
- 2010 – Perpetua Nkwocha
- 2011 – Perpetua Nkwocha
- 2014 – Asisat Oshoala
- 2016 – Asisat Oshoala
- 2017 – Asisat Oshoala
- 2019 – Asisat Oshoala
- 2022 – Asisat Oshoala
Morocco men's category – 4 CAF Player of the Year awards
Ahmed Faras was named African Footballer of the Year in 1975 following a brilliant year for his club Chabab Mohammédia and the Moroccan national football team. He opened the door for other Moroccans to achieve this coveted feat as three others went on to win it.
The last Moroccan player to win the award was Mustapha Hadji in 1998.
Moroccan CAF Player of the Year winners:
- 1975 – Ahmed Faras
- 1985 – Mohamed Timoumi
- 1986 – Badou Ezaki
- 1998 – Mustapha Hadji
Morocco women's category – 0 CAF awards
Unfortunately, Morocco women's football has not reached the heights men's football has gotten to over the years. As a result of this, the country has not produced any Women Footballer of the Year winner till date.
Country with most CAF Player of the Year winners
A lot of African football stars have won CAF's most coveted individual player award on multiple occasions whilst representing their nations.
However, no country comes close to having won the CAF Player of the Year awards like Cameroon who've taken home the award 11 times on the men's category.
Country men's category – 11 CAF Player of the Year awards
Cameroonian players have won the award a record eleven times, the highest till date. Roger Milla first won it for Cameroon in 1976, before other players from the country etched their names.
Samuel Eto’o alone was crowned on four occasions. In total, six Cameroonians have won the CAF Player of the Year awards.
Here are the winners:
- 1976 – Roger Milla
- 1979 – Thomas Nkono
- 1980 – Jean Manga Onguene
- 1982 – Thomas Nkono
- 1984 – Theophile Abega
- 1990 – Roger Milla
- 2000 – Patrick Mboma
- 2003 – Samuel Eto'o
- 2004 – Samuel Eto'o
- 2005 – Samuel Eto'o
- 2010 – Samuel Eto'o
Country women's category – 12 CAF Player of the Year awards
Nigeria is the country with most winners of the CAF Women's Player of the Year with 12 awards won by four different players: Mercy Akide, Perpetua Nkwocha, Cynthia Uwak, and Asisat Oshoala.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago