By Victor Kanayo
Teammates in Nigeria’s Super Eagles and coaching staff preparing for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations have celebrated Victor Osimhen who emerged Men’s African Player of the Year (POTY) in December 2023.
The Nigerian team are in their Abu Dhabi camp getting ready for the continent’s prestigious Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled to kick-off January 13, 2024, in Cote d’ivoire..
The national team camp commenced on Tuesday, with 24 of the 25 invited players already engaged under the guidance of Head Coach Jose Peseiro.
The only absentee is Leicester City’s striker Kelechi Iheanacho, recovering from an injury that may affect his participation in the tournament.
Osimhen and William Troost-Ekong were among the last arrivals at the camp.
In a trending video on social media, the team during dinner on Friday night took the opportunity to officially honour Osimhen’s status as the reigning African Player of the Year.
Subsequently, prayers were offered to express gratitude to God for Osimhen’s remarkable victory.
Osimhen is expected to lead Nigeria’s attacking line in the 34th edition of the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire, serving as the primary goal-scoring outlet for the team.
As the continent’s top striker, his role will be crucial in leading the Super Eagles’ quest for a fourth continental crown.
Osimhen stands poised to become the first Nigerian player since Rashidi Yekini to clinch the AFCON as the Best Player on the continent.
The Napoli goal poacher became the first Nigerian to claim the CAF POTY award since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999, after his outstanding performance.
He propelled Napoli to their first Scudetto title in 33 years and topped the goalscorer chart during the 2023 AFCON qualifying campaign.