Home Features Ligue 1: Osimhen emerges best African player in France

Ligue 1: Osimhen emerges best African player in France

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Lille's Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen (L) celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and Brest at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, northern France on December 6, 2019. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, has won the Marc-Vivien Foé RFI-France 24 Prize for best African player in the French Ligue 1, the French football championship for the 2019-2020 season.

The runners up are the Algerian forward Islam Slimani (Monaco) and the Moroccan defender Yunis Abdelhamid (Stade Rennais).

The organisers of the award said Osimhen was chosen by a jury of sport journalists specializing in French and African Football.

“He was included in a list of 11 players drafted by RFI’s and France 24’s sports services. They had at heart to highlights this year’s season, which had been full of astonishing performances by African players, before being stopped on March 13 because of the coronavirus crisis.

“This edition of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize celebrates football, while supporters are temporarily unable to watch or attend games, and the achievements of African players in Ligue 1, some of whom could change championship at the end of the season,” a statement announcing his emergence read.

Osimhen arrived in Ligue 1 in 2019 to replace Nicolas Pépé who left for Arsenal F.C. He quickly became one of the biggest scorers of the French championship.

With 13 goals and 4 assists in 27 games, the Nigerian is amongst the best players of Ligue 1.

At 21, the forward, trained in Lagos, has already played in Germany (VfL Wolfsburg), Belgium (Charleroi), and is now a player of choice in Christophe Galtier’s team.

Osimhen is the fifth Lille player awarded the best African player in Ligue 1 after Gervinho (2010, 2011), Vincent Enyeama (2014), Sofiane Boufal (2016), and Nicolas Pépé (2019).

“Since 2011, the best African player in Ligue 1 trophy is named after Marc-Vivien Foé, to honour the Cameroonian player who tragically passed during a game at the Gerland stadium in Lyon on June 26, 2003.

“The award which is named after the late Cameroonian midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe is organised by Radio France International and France 24,” the statement added.

Osimhen beats a fellow Nigeria, Moses Simon, and eight other African stars to the prestigious award.

The 21-year-old is the second Nigerian to win the award after Vincent Enyeama picked up the prize in 2014.

 

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