By Jacob Ajom
Super Eagles stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa has been pronounced Nigeria’s best male football player of the 2018 season. Musa was honoured in an impressive ceremony of the AITEO/NFF Awards 2018 held at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Monday night.
The Al Nassr star who was absent due to club commitments defeated Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo to win the coveted award.
Musa’s female counterpart, Onome Ebi won the Woman Footballer of the Year Award. Onome beat the likes of Assisat Oshoala and Francesca Ordega to win the award, which she dedicated to her late dad and team mates.
In other categories, Villarreal youngster, Samuel Chukwueze saw off Victor Osimhen and Henry Onyekwuru to scoop the Young Player of the Year award, while Anam Imo won the female version.
Thomas Dennerby and Gbenga Ogunbote were declared the best coaches in the female and male categories respectively.
More accolades came Ahmed Musa’s way when his goal against Iceland at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup was adjudged the Goal of the Season. There were also awards for Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and late business mogul and proprietor of defunct Abiola Babes Football Club of Abeokuta, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, who was honoured posthumously.
The biggest moment on the night was when the 1994 set of Super Eagles were called to the stage to be honoured. A short video of their exploits at that year’s AFCON and the FIFA World Cup ushered the legends to the stage and at the end of the video show, the entire hall rose to salute their galantry.
Except for the absence of Emmanuel Amuneke, Victor Ikpeba, Michael Emenalo, Emeka Ezeugo, Efan Ekoku, Isaac Semitoje and Chidi Nwanu, the rest of the squad were present.
Physically present and bathed in applause were goalkeepers Peter Rufai and Alloy Agu, defenders Austin Eguavoen, Uche Okechukwu, Benedict Iroha, Nduka Ugbade and Taribo West, midfielders Mutiu Adepoju, Austin ‘JJ’ Okocha, Sunday Oliseh and Edema Fuludu and forwards Finidi George, Samson Siasia and Daniel Amokachi.