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2023 CAF Awards: Osimhen beats Mahrez to top three in Africa Player of the Year race

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By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Nigeria forward, Victor Osimhen has beaten Algerian international, Riyadh Mahrez to top three finish for the 2023 CAF Awards.

On Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the final three shortlists for the 2023 CAF men’s player of the year without the former Manchester City player.

Mahrez was touted to be one of the favourites for the award alongside Osimhen after he won the English Premier League and the team’s first UEFA Champions League title last season.

With release, Osimhen will contest for the gong with Egyptian forward, Mohamed Salah who scored 19 goals in 38 league games for Liverpool FC last season.

Moroccan defender, Achraf Hakimi who scored five goals with three assists for PSG in the league last season also made the final three.

Osimhen played crucial role in helping Napoli clinch the Scudetto title for the first since the Maradona era.

He scored 26 goals in 32 league games to help the Neapolitans to the league title last season.

The top African player during the 2023 Ballon d’Or is now the fan favourite to win Nigeria’s first CAF Men Player of the Year award since 1999 when Nwankwo Kanu won it.

He also finished as the top goal scorer during the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifiers. The likes of Austin Jay Jay Okocha and Mikel John Obi have come close to winning the award in recent times since 1999.

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