Today, Thursday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) narrowed the race for the African continent’s player of the year 2023 award to Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen.
Hakimi won the French league title with his team Paris Saint-Germain and excelled at the Qatar World Cup with his country’s Atlas Lions, reaching the semi-finals and finishing fourth.
As for Osimhen, he was the top scorer in the Italian league with Napoli and won back-to-back titles, while Salah finished fourth in the English Premier League table with his team Liverpool.
Hakimi, goalkeeper Yassin Bounou, Youssef N-Nesiri and Sofian Amrafat were among the 10 players on the list, including 4 Moroccans, Algerian Riyad Mahrez, Senegalese Sadio Mane, last year’s player of the year and the Cameroonians. Vincent Abubakar and Frank Anguza.
Yassin Bono, who won the Europa League title with Spanish club Sevilla last season, has been chosen to compete for the best goalkeeper award, along with Egyptian Mohamed El-Shenawi, who won the African Champions League with his Al-Ahly team, and Cameroonian Andre. Onana was crowned Italian Cup champion and Champions League runner-up with Inter Milan.
The finalists for the Coach of the Year award include Morocco’s Walid Regragui, who set the Atlas Lions record at the World Cup in Qatar, Algeria’s Abdelhaq Benjika, who led USM Algiers to the African Confederation Cup and African Super Cup titles, and Senegal’s Aliu. Cisse, coach of the Terengganu Lions, champions of the African continent two years ago.
A very promising player
The Moroccans were among the finalists for the Most Promising Player award alongside Spain’s Real Betis winger Abdel Samad Salzouli, Senegal’s Lamine Kamara and Amara Diouf (both with French club Metz).
Moroccan men and women were the best in the national team, the “Atlas Lions” competed with Senegal and Gambia, and the “Atlas Women” reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand for the first time. In their history” along with Nigeria and South Africa, they were all eliminated in the round of 16.
Best local player
Domestically, Fiston Mayel (Egyptian Pyramids) is the only contender for the Man of the Match award from Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa’s Percy Dow (Al-Ahly) and Peter Shalulel (South African Sundowns).
As for the best club award, it will be Champions League champions Al-Ahly, modern competition champions Sundowns, Africa League and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca as runners-up.
The shortlist for the best player includes Nigerian Asizad Oshola (Barcelona, Spain), South Africa’s Thembi Katlana (Louisville, USA) and Zambian Barbara Banda (Shanghai Singles, China).
The top teams in the women’s category are Sundowns, Champions League champion, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, runner-up and compatriot Royal Army, coach of the year, French player Renault Petros (Morocco), Desiree Ellis (South Africa), and Gerry Tshabalala (Sundowns).
For the best female goalkeeper, the competition is only between Morocco’s Khadija Rmechi (Royal Army), Nigeria’s Siamaka Ndosi (Paris FC, France) and Andile Dlamini (Sundowns), Morocco’s Nisreen El Chad (Lille, France) and Ghana’s Comfort Yeboah. (Ampem Darkwa of Ghana), and Deborah of Nigeria competed. Abiodun (Pittsburgh Panthers) won the most promising award.
The final winner in each category will be determined after voting by a panel consisting of the CAF Technical Committee, media experts, coaches and presidents of member associations and clubs participating in the group stages of club competitions.
The award ceremony will be held on December 11 in Marrakesh, Morocco.