Osimhen deserves African Player of the Year award – Adebayor

Osimhen deserves African Player of the Year award – Adebayor
Credit: Icon Sport

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) award season is upon us and Togo legend Emmanuel Adebayor has stated that Nigeria national football team ace Victor Osimhen is the clear favourite.

It is no longer news that the Super Eagles forward is a cult hero in Naples, Italy, home of the Partenopei, who he led to the Serie A title.

Osimhen has transcended into a cultural icon much like Diego Maradona, after who the 2022/23 Scudetto winner’s stadium is named.

Adebayor, who won the 2008 award, has recognised Osimhen as the next CAF Player of the Year awardee.

Osimhen award decision a simple one, Adebayor tells BBC

Victor Osimhen scored 26 goals to claim the Capocannoniere Award in Serie A. He was the first African to achieve the feat.

The groundbreaking achievement of the boy from Olusosun, Lagos, also led Napoli to claim the first Italian top-flight title in 33 years. The 24-year-old brought joy and happiness to fans who have lived longer than he has and have waited for so long to see their beloved team reach the top of the Italian football pyramid once again.

By default, many believe that this is enough to earn the AFCON qualifiers 2023 top socrer the CAF African Player of the Year award. However, a number of African players have also had amazing seasons.

Riyad Mahrez did the unprecedented with Manchester City to win the treble while contributing more than enough to that cause. Sevilla’s Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri led the club to their record seventh UEFA Europa League title.

Many from his national team also did enough to earn the award, especially at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was the hero of Sevilla at the Europa League final and in the World Cup; right back Achraf Hakimi won the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain and ended the season as the best performing right back in the world, among others.

Adebayor, who won the 2008 CAF award and remains the only player from Togo to do so in history, still believes that Osimhen winning the award should not be up for debate as it is a “simple decision”.

‘I will vote for Osimhen if I could' – Adebayor on award

Adebayor said to BBC: “It’s very simple, we have seen the season and for me if you ask me who deserve the 2023 African Player of the Year award, its Osimhen, because of what he has done with Napoli, scoring in all the biggest games in Italy and also winning the Scudetto.”

“He has done quite well, who is there [to challenge Osimhen?] Sadio Mané was injured and had a difficult season. Mohamed Salah had one of the worst seasons in his career. There’s the guy from Cameroon – Zambo Anguissa – but the star player in Napoli is Osimhen. If you ask me to vote and I am given 10 votes I will give 12 to Osimhen for the 2023 African Player of the Year,” the former Real Madrid man said.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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