Super Eagles’ stand-in captain William Troost-Ekong has been crowned the Best Player of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, a distinction bestowed upon him by the Confederation of African Football.
Troost-Ekong showcased an outstanding performance throughout the tournament, despite Nigeria falling short in the final against hosts Cote d’Ivoire, with a 2-1 defeat.
The 30-year-old defender’s exceptional contributions did not go unnoticed, earning him the prestigious Man of the Tournament award.
Troost-Ekong netted three crucial goals during the 34th edition of the continental championship, including Nigeria’s only goal in the nail-biting encounter against the Elephants.
His first goal came on matchday two when he converted a penalty to secure a narrow victory for Nigeria over the Ivorians.
Notching up his second goal, again from the spot, Troost-Ekong played a pivotal role in the 1-1 draw against South Africa in the semifinals, ultimately leading Nigeria to triumph in the penalty shootout.
Remarkably, Troost-Ekong’s goal tally at AFCON 2023 propels him into the record books as the highest-scoring defender in the history of the competition, with an impressive total of five goals.
While Troost-Ekong’s individual triumph took center stage, Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue emerged as the tournament’s top scorer.
Additionally, South Africa’s Ronwen Williams secured the title of Best Goalkeeper, beating Nigeria’s Stanley Nwabali to the honour.
After conceding twice against Cote d’Ivoire, Nwabali tallied four clean sheets at the AFCON, one fewer than Williams’ haul.