Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen has penned an emotional message to his family members and supporters after winning the Men’s Player of the Year gong at the CAF Awards 2023.
Osimhen scooped the prestigious award at an elaborate ceremony held in Marrakech, Morocco on Monday night.
The 24-year-old beat strong competition from Achraf Hakimi and Mohamed Salah to land the individual honour.
He became the first Nigerian to win the award after former Ajax and Arsenal forward, Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.
It was a remarkable night for Nigeria, with Barcelona Femeni star, Asisat Oshoala going home with the Women’s Player of the Year award, while her Super Falcons teammate, Chiamaka Nnadozie claimed the Goalkeeper of the Year prize.
The Super Falcons were also named the National Team of the Year.
Osimhen won the award on the back of his successful outing with Napoli last season.
The striker scored 26 goals to help the Partenopei win their first Scudetto in 33 years.
In a heartfelt message posted on his X handle, Osimhen reflected on his journey to stardom.
“As a young boy who came from the streets of Olusosun, who had to hawk in traffic almost every day of the week while growing in-order to survive the numerous challenges my family and I were facing, becoming a Treasure in Africa and World Football was a wild dream. Words can’t express the joy in my heart, this is a very special moment to me.
“My football journey has been a rollercoaster of highs, tough lows and emotions. The goals, echoes and jubilation of victories keeps me going even when the critics, hate and pain of defeats hit me hard in the chest. The support of my amazing family, my fans most especially my Nigerian supporters and the love for the beautiful game of football motivates me to aim higher daily.
“Losing my dear parents in the course of this journey leaves a scar in my heart as they have always been my major driving force for success since I was a kid, may their souls continue to rest in peace. To my wonderful family thanks for always having my back and loving me so much. I wouldn’t have made it this far without your esteemed support. To my fans and Nigerian supporters, your dedication in supporting me on the good days and bad days does not go unnoticed, even amidst the arrows of hatred thrown at me y’all still stood by my side. I am grateful.
“Winning the CAF Best African Player 2023 is a testament of my hard work, your love and support. I am so proud of myself for achieving this prestigious award. Thank you CAF, to all the coaches I have played under both local and international, your wisdom and knowledge have played huge roles in guiding my footballing career, thank you so much. I am sure my parents in heaven are smiling at me, this is for you. I also congratulate Chiamaka Nnadozie and Asisat Oshoala for their prestigious awards. Dreams do come true! Thank you everyone,GOD is the greatest.”