Aptly, on the eve of the women's Cup of Nations final between Morocco and South Africa, it was Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala who stole the show at the 2022 Caf Awards.
The 27-year-old Barcelona striker won a record fifth women’s player of the year award to eclipse her compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha who hoisted four titles between 2004 and 2011.
After collecting the award from Caf chief Patrice Motsepe, she dedicated her latest honour to the Nigeria team that lost in the semi-final to Morocco in a penalty shoot-out after holding out for nearly an hour with only nine players.
"This is for you all because you showed Africa what a strong heart means and you did not back down. You kept on going."
Senegalese footballers and coaches were the other big winners at the lavish gala ceremony on Thursday night at the Mohamed VI Technical Centre in Sale.
In the men's category, Bayern Munich striker Sadio Mané lifted the African player of the year accolade while Aliou Cissé, who led the national side to its first Africa Cup of Nations title in February, was anointed coach of the year.
Pape Matar Sarr was deemed young player of the year and the Seengal national squad took the national team of the year honour.
Wydad Athletic Club from Morocco were named African men’s club of the year for their title in the 2022 Caf Champions League while Mamelodi Sundowns took the plaudits in the women's category after winning their domestic league and the inaugural women’s Champions League in Egypt in 2021.
South Africa’s national women’s head coach Desiree Ellis, was named coach of the year to add to her triumphs in 2018 and 2019.
It was another Senegalese player - Simba’s Pape Ousmane Sakho - who won the goal of the year for his overhead strike for Simba against Asec Mimosa in a Confederation Cup group game.