Osimhen, who plays for Napoli in the Italian Serie, will do battle with Egyptian Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and PSG’s Achraf Hakimi who was part of Morocco’s historical World Cup run in Qatar late last year.
Despite battling Hakimi who helped Morocco to reach the World Cup semis, a first on the continent, and Salah who was in fine form for Liverpool last year, Osimhen is in pole position to land the coveted prize after becoming the first African to win the highest goalscorer gong in the Italian Serie A.
His goals were instrumental as Napoli scooped their first Scudetto prize title in 33 years. The former Lille man was also the highest-ranked African in the 2023 Ballon d’Or when he finished ninth.
For the Women’s category, Osimhen’s compatriot Oshoala is on the cusp of a record-extending fifth CAF Women’s Player of the Year gong. The Barcelona Femeni star was on the team’s treble-winning side last season. She also scored one goal as the Super Falcons reached the last 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup played earlier in the year.
But the Nigerian has stiff competition with Racing Louisville and South African star Thembi Kgatlana and Zambia’s Barbara Banda.
Super Falcons Chiamaka Nnadozie of Paris FC is also in contention for the Goalkeeper of the Year (Women) and has to contend with Khadija Er-Rmichi of Morocco and Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns).
In the Young Player of the Year (Women), there is also another Nigerian – Deborah Abiodun. The Pittsburgh Panthers midfielder – despite playing one of the team’s four games at the World Cup – has been one of the breakout stars on the continent in the last year. She featured for Nigeria at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Super Falcons are also in contention for the Women’s Team of The Year award.