Victor Osimhen beats Salah as Africa’s highest goal scorer in 2023

Victor Osimhen beats Salah as Africa’s highest goal scorer in 2023
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Victor Osimhen had a bumpy and exciting year with Napoli. It was a year filled with ups and downs, but ultimately one to savour by the Nigerian.

The Super Eagles striker wants to lead Nigeria to its fourth Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. He had a goal-laden 2023 and would look to repeat the feat in 2024.

The goals of Victor Osimhen led Napoli to its first Serie A title in 33 years.

It was a spectacular feat that drew the attention of some of the top clubs in Europe to him, including Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Did Victor Osimhen finish the year as the African player with the most goals? The Nigerian had competition from some of Africa's best, including Liverpool's Mo Salah.

Osimhen ahead of Salah as Africa's top scorer

victor osimhen looking for more goals in 2024
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It was a monumental 2023 for Victor Osimhen as he bagged several accolades for his outstanding performance.

Aside from leading Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, the Super Eagles striker finished the season as Capocannoniere with 26 goals.

He also completed his litany of awards with the African Footballer of the Year, beating his closest rivals, Mo Salah and Achraf Hakimi.

Victor Osimhen finished the year with more goals than every other African player in 2023, but how did he fare against his challengers?

Victor Osimhen vs Mo Salah

Victor Osimhen

victor osimhen - africa's top scorer in 2023
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Victor Osimhen started the year with a bang after recovering from an injury in 2022 that kept him on the sidelines for several games.

He went on a goalscoring spree. After failing to score against Inter Milan in Napoli's opening game of the year, where they lost 1-0, he scored 11 goals in nine consecutive matches, including one in the Champions League.

He finished the season with 22 goals before scoring twice against Sierra Leone in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match on June 18.

Several well-documented incidents saw Victor Osimhen start the 2023/24 season slowly.

He scored 12 more goals before the year ended, including one in the Champions League and three in a 6-0 win over São Tomé and Príncipe in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game.

Victor Osimhen finished the year with 35 goals to be Africa's top scorer in 2023.

Mo Salah

mo salah vs victor osimhen
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Salah gave the former Lille striker a run for his money, but he did not finish second on the chart.

Salah, who lost the African Footballer of the Year award to Osimhen finished the year with 34 goals.

The Egyptian scored 16 goals in the first half of 2023, including two against Malawi in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification double-header.

Salah's undoing was his inability to score consistently, with his goals well-spaced.

The Liverpool hitman was more prolific in the latter part of the year, as he scored 18 goals to finish the season with 34.

He scored three in the Europa League, 12 in the Premier League, one in the EFL Cup and four in a World Cup qualification game against Djibouti.

A surprise tie with Victor Osimhen

kodjo laba tied victor osimhen in 2023 with 35 goals
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Victor Osimhen topped the chart with 35 goals but was tied at the top by an unknown player.

Little-known Togolese striker Kodjo Fo Doh Laba also scored 35 goals.

The Togolese who joined Al Ain (UAE) has scored 97 goals for the Middle East club in 101 games.

At 31, Kodjo is still banging in the goals. He scored 19 goals in the first half of 2023, including one in a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match.

He scored 16 more goals in the latter part of the year. He has been the top scorer in the league for two seasons in a row, scoring 26 and 28 goals in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.

Kodjo Laba is currently the league's top scorer with 11 goals.

AFRICA’S HIGHEST GOAL SCORERS 2023

Player

Club/Country

No of Goals

Victor Osimhen

Napoli/Nigeria

35

Kodjo Fo Doh Laba

Al Ain/Togo

35

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool/Egypt

34

Victor Boniface

Bayer Leverkusen/Nigeria

33

Gift Orban

Gent/Nigeria

32

Abderrazak Hamdallah

Al-Ittihad/Morocco

32

Serhou Guirassy

Stuttgart/Guinea

30

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.