Can of these 10 players make it to the final shortlists and/or win the awards?
With the end of the year approaching, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have rolled out all their shortlists for CAF Awards 2019.
From Men’s Player of the Year category to Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year, 10 Nigerians have been shortlisted for several awards.
In this piece, we look at why there were shortlisted and if they have any chance of making it to the final shortlists or to win the award.
Men’s Player of the Year
Super Eagles stars Wilfred Ndidi, Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen are in the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 African Player of the Year.
Ndidi maintained his consistence performance for Leicester City in the Premier League all year and is regarded as one of best midfielders in the Premier League.
Osimhen has had a brilliant start at Lille where he has scored nine goals in 17 goals while Ighalo finished as highest goalscorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
No Nigerian has won this category since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999 and no Nigerian has made the final three since 2003. It’s not expected to change this year as any of the Nigerian players in the shortlist is not expected to make it to the final three let alone win it.
None of these Nigerian players is currently cutting it at the highest level of world football like the likes of Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and Sadio Mane (Senegal), Arsenal forward Pierre Emrick-Aubamayang (Gabon) and Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez who also won the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Algeria.
Women’s Player of the Year
Three Super Falcons players, Asisat Oshoala, Chiamaka Nnadozie and Uchenna Kanu are nominated for the 2019 African Women’s Player of the Year award.
Oshoala has a chance to win a fourth African Women’s Player of the Year award. She scored a goal as Nigeria reached the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time in 20 years and was impressive for Barcelona Femení.
She also made history in 2019 by becoming the first Nigerian and African player to score in the final of the UEFA’s Women’s Champions League.
Nnadozie impressed in 2019 between the post for Nigeria at WAFU Zone B Women’s Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the African Games.
She was also pivotal for Rivers Angels who won the 2019 Nigerian Women’s Premier League (NWPL) title after winning the Super 4 tournament in Lagos.
Kanu caught the eye at the WAFU Cup where she scored 10 goals. These are however not enough to get them further in this category.
Men’s Coach of the Year
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is nominated for the Men’s Coach of the Year after he led Nigeria to finish third at AFCON 2019.
Rohr is up against Djamel Belmadi who led Algeria to the AFCON 2019 title and Aliou Cisse, coach of Senegal who was beaten in the final. Belmadi and Cisse have better chances of winning this award than Rohr.
Nigeria are in for the Men’s National Team of the Year but they stand no chance of winning it with AFCON 2019 winners Algeria favourites.
Women’s Coach of the Year
Former Super Eagles coach Thomas Dennerby is in the shortlist for the Women’s Coach of the Year for the job he did with Nigeria’s Senior Women’s National Team.
Dennerby led Nigeria to win the WAFU Zone B Women’s Cup title and also took the Super Falcons to the knockout stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in 20 years.
He is among the favourites to retain the award he won last year.
The Super Falcons of Nigeria are nominated for the Women’s National Team of the Year and have a chance of winning the award.
Youth Player of the Year
Here, two exciting Nigerian talents Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze are in the running for this award.
Osimhen ended last season as the best player at Belgian side Charleroi before his move to Lille where he has had a good start.
For Lille this season, he has had an explosive start with nine goals in 17 games. The 20-year-old has also become Super Eagles first-choice striker and has scored four goals in four games.
Chukwueze enjoyed a breakthrough season with Villarreal last season and played a crucial part in Super Eagles’ run to a third-place finish at AFCON 2019.
Both have a chance of making it to the final-three but Moroccan right-back Achraf Hakimi is favourite for the award after an exciting year with Borussia Dortmund.