African Football

Why Osimhen not Hakimi deserves CAF Best Player of the Year

Following the release of a 30-player shortlist for the 2023 CAF best player of the year award, Caretaker in this article explains why Why Osimhen not Hakimi deserves to win the CAF Best Player of the Year award.


1. Ramy Bensebaini (Algeria and Borussia Dortmund)
2. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Al Ahli)
3. Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso and Bayer Leverkusen)
4. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Cameroon and SSC Napoli)
5. Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon and Besiktas)
6. Ibrahima Sangare (Cote d’Ivoire and Nottingham Forest)
7. Seko Fofana (Cote d’Ivoire and Al Nassr)
8. Chancel Mbemba (DR Congo and Olympique Marseille)
9. Fiston Mayele (DR Congo and Pyramids)
10. Mahmoud Abdel Moneim “Kahraba” (Egypt and Ahly)
11. Mohamed Abdelmonem (Egypt and Al Ahly)
12. Mohamed ElShenawy (Egypt and Al Ahly)
13. Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
14. Mohammed Kudus (Ghana and West Ham United)
15. Thomas Partey (Ghana and Arsenal)
16. Serhou Guirassy (Guinea and VfB Stuttgart)
17. Yves Bissouma (Mali and Tottenham Hotspur)
18. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco and Paris Saint-Germain)
19. Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco and Olympique Marseille)
20. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco and Galatasaray)
21. Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco and Manchester United)
22. Yahya Jabrane (Morocco and Wydad Athletic Club)
23. Yassine Bounou (Morocco and Al Hilal)
24. Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco and Sevilla)
25. Peter Shalulile (Namibia and Mamelodi Sundowns)
26. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria and SSC Napoli)
27. Sadio Mane (Senegal and Al Nassr)
28. Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal and Tottenham Hotspur)
29. Percy Tau (South Africa and Al Ahly)
30. Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Tunisia and Ferencvaros)


Following the announcement of the 30-man shortlist for the 2023 CAF best player of the year award, early permutations show the key battle is between Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi.

The decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to host the CAFAwards2023 in Morocco could be foreshadowing the winner of the African Men’s Footballer of the Year Award.

As announced by CAF on Wednesday, October 31, the awards ceremony will be held in Marrakech, a city in Morocco on December 11, 2023.

Hakimi at the 2022 World cup
Hakimi celebrating a goal at the 2022 FIFA World cup

This decision and Morocco’s remarkable run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has raised talks of the 2023 CAF Player of the year award winner emerging from the Atlas Lions squad that became Africa’s first world cup semi-finalists in Qatar.

Goalkeeper Yaccine Bounou and Paris Saint Germain defender, Achraf Hakimi were standout performers in Morocco’s squad and are part of the 30-player shortlist.

Yaccine Bounou and Hakimi
Yaccine Bounou and Achraf Hakimi were excellent for Morocco at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Whereas, Bounou is perfectly poised to win the goalkeeper of the year award, Hakimi has been promoted as a possible candidate to deny Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen the award.


2023 was a very memorable year for Victor Osimhen and there will be no better way to crown it than handing him the CAF Player of the Year award on December 11.

Victor Osimhen poses with the Scudetto alongside his family and NFF president Ibrahim Gusau
Victor Osimhen poses with the Scudetto alongside his family and NFF president Ibrahim Gusau

In the season under review, Osimhen fired Napoli SSC to the Italian Serie A title, their first in 33-years, finishing as top-scorer with 26-goals plus hitting double goal-digits during the 2023 Africa cup of nations qualifying series to launch calls for his emergence as Sadio Mane’s successor as Africa’s best men’s player.

This sentiment was further strengthened when the Nigerian forward was ranked the 8th best footballer in the world at the 2023 Ballon D’or awards.

However, antagonists of the Osimhen choice, say Nigeria did not participate at the world’s grandest football event – the 2022 World Cup where Achraf Hakimi and the Moroccan national team excelled to set a new African record.

For me, Hakimi’s choice will be very unpopular because after the world cup, the defender has gone off the spotlight except during his divorce-case .

Nigerians are anxiously waiting to see Victor Osimhen end a 24-year wait for the CAF Men’s Player of the Year award, the last Nigerian to take the prized award was Kanu Nwankwo in 1999.

If the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup winner nicks the award ahead of Achraf Hakimi, he will follow in the footstep of Nigerian greats such as Nwankwo Kanu, Rashidi Yekini, Emmanuel Amunike, and Victor Ikpeba, who have previously claimed this esteemed accolade.

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