Nigeria claims 19 of 50 CAF ‘Player of the Year’ award in 30 years

Nine players from Nigerian senior women’s and men’s football teams – Super Falcons and Super Eagles – have won the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) overall best player award 19 times since the late Rashidi Yekini clinched it for the country in 1993, The ICIR reports.

The CAF launched the men’s awards in 1992 and the female awards in 2001. 

Since 1992, the men’s category award has been held 29 times. It didn’t hold in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Similarly, the women’s category has taken place 21 times. It didn’t hold in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.

Since they were launched, the awards have been held 50 times.

A breakdown of the 19 awards won by Nigeria showed that four women won 13 while five men clinched six.

The four players who won the women’s category are Mercy Akide, who picked the first CAF overall best player award in 2001, followed by Perpetua Nkwocha, who won it four times in 2004, 2005, 2011 and 2012.

Also, Cynthia Uwak won it twice, in 2006 and 2007, while Asisat Oshoala claimed it six times in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2022, and 2023.

In the men’s category, the late Rasheed Yekini emerged as the first Nigerian to win the CAF Best Player of the Year award in 1993, followed by Emmanuel Amuneke, who got it in 1994.



    Two years later, in 1996, Kanu Nwankwo emerged as the winner. He stole the show again in 1999, which shows that within six years – 1993-1996, four of Nigeria’s senior men’s football players won the award.

    Until Napoli striker Victor Osimhen won the award in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday, December 11, Nigeria had never won the award in the male category since 1999. Osimhen was barely a year old when the country last won it.

    Former Chelsea player Mikel Obi came close to picking the award in 2013 but finished second, losing to Cote d’Ivoire player Yaya Toure.

    Trailing Nigeria on the awards haul is Cote D’Ivoire. The country’s men’s football teams have won seven of CAF’s best player awards but have not won in the women’s category.





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