by linda ikeji
French media outlets RFI and France 24 have named Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen as the winner of the 2020 Marc Vivien Foe prize for the best African player in the French Ligue 1 for 2019-2020 season.
The 21-year-old Lille striker emerged the winner from a list of 11 African footballers who were shortlisted for the award named after Cameroonian great and former Olympique Lyonnais midfielder, Marc Vivien Foe.
Marc Vivien Foe died at the Stade de France while playing for Cameroon, during the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final game against Colombia.
Osimhen who gathered 284 points saw off competition from his compatriot Moses Simon (Nantes), Islam Slimani (Monaco), Denis Bouanga (Saint-Etienne), Yunis Abdelhamid (Stade de Reims), Idrissa Gueye (PSG), Habib Diallo (FC Metz) plus Stade Rennais’ trio of Mbaye Niang, Hamari Traore and Edouard Mendy.
Osimhen is the second consecutive Lille player and second Nigerian to win the Award after Ivory Coast’s Nicolas Pepe and Vincent Enyeama, who also won it at the club in 2014.
According to the jury, the votes produced the following results:
1. Victor OSIMHEN (Nigeria/Lille LOSC) – 284 points
2. Islam SLIMANI (Algérie/AS Monaco) – 95 points
3. Yunis ABDELHAMID (Maroc/Stade de Reims) – 89 points
4. Habib DIALLO (Senegal/FC Metz) – 52 points
5. M’Baye NIANG (Senegal/Stade rennais) – 43 points
6. Idrissa GUEYE (Senegal/Paris SG) – 37 points
-. Hamari TRAORÉ (Mali/Stade Rennais) – 37 points
8. Denis BOUANGA (Gabon/AS Saint-Etienne) – 27 points
9. Edouard MENDY (Senegal/Stade rennais) – 24 points
10. Andy DELORT (Algeria/Montpellier HSC) – 13 points
11. Moses SIMON (Nigeria/FC Nantes) – 10 points
Victor Osimhen who signed for Lille in July 2019 from Royal Charleroi Sporting Club, scored 18 goals in 38 games across all competitions before the French Ligue 1 was cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.