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Thursday, 05 August 2021

Nigeria's Osimhen wins best African player in Ligue 1

The Lille forward beat Algeria's Islam Slimani and Moroccan defender Yunis Abdelhamid to the title

Mahmoud Sheleib , Monday 29 Jun 2020
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Valencia v Lille - Mestalla, Valencia, Spain - November 5, 2019 Lille's Victor Osimhen reacts REUTERS

Nigeria’s Lille forward Victor Osimhen won the Marc-Vivien Foé prize on Monday, which is given to the best African player in the French Ligue 1.

The U-17 World Cup champion is now the youngest player to win the trophy at the age of 21, succeeding another Lille player, the Ivorian Nicolas Pepe, who moved to Arsenal last summer.

“It is an honour to be among the winners of this prize, when we see those who received it before me, like Nicolas Pépé last year. That the trophy stays in Lille and comes back to me is really great,” Osimhen told Radio France Internationale.

Osimhen, who joined Lille in summer 2019 coming from the Belgian side RSC Charleroi, scored 13 goals and created five assists in 27 league games.

The prize was named after Cameroonian midfielder Foe who passed away during the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia which was held at Stade de Gerland in Lyon.

“I am very proud to have won a trophy that bears his name. He is a legend, not only in France but in the world, and especially in Africa,” he added.

The Nigerian striker has played only eight matches with his national team, scoring four goals, but he didn’t participate with the Super Eagles during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

“What I want is to be able to help the team to win international trophies. The goal is to continue to be the number one scorer for Nigeria,” he added.

The Nigerian won the Marc-Vivien Foe prize after garnering more votes than Monaco and Algeria striker Islam Slimani and the Moroccan Reims defender Yunis Abdelhamid.

“Slimani is an excellent striker. I think that all the finalists for the prize should be happy today because we all had a great season that allowed us to be on this list,” Osimhen concluded.

Osimhen could be on the move from the Ligue 1 as several Premier League clubs have him reportedly on their radar.

Winners of the Marc Vivien Foe award:

2009: Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux/Morocco)
2010: Gervinho (Lille/Côte d'Ivoire)
2011: Gervinho (Lille/Côte d'Ivoire)
2012: Younès Belhanda (Montpellier/Moroccoc)
2013: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Saint-Étienne/Gabon)
2014: Vincent Enyeama (Lille/Nigeria)
2015: Andre Ayew (Marseille/Ghana)
2016: Sofiane Boufal (Lille/Morocco)
2017: Jean Michael Seri (Nice/Côte d’Ivoire)
2018: Karl Toko Ekambi (Angers SCO/Cameroon)
2019: Nicolas Pepe (Lille/Côte d’Ivoire)
2020: Victor Osimhen (Lille/Nigeria)

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