Osimhen, Oshoala makes 2023 Ballon d’Or nominee list

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Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen has been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award, becoming one of the few players from the country to have achieved the feat.

The Napoli striker was in impeccable form last season, helping the Italian side win their first Scudetto in 33 years.

He is the first Nigerian to be nominated for the prize in 24 years. Kanu Nwankwo was the last to earn that feat.

The organisers of the award, French Football, confirmed his nomination Wednesday night.

Osimhen scored 25 league goals last term, beating off Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao to scoop the prize for the Best Striker in Serie A.

He also helped the team reach the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League and was instrumental as the Super Eagles sealed a ticket for the delayed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The feat earned the 24-year-old player the accolade as the first African to top the Serie A scorers’ chart.

He also broke George Weah’s record for the most goals scored by an African in the Italian league with the achievement.

Earlier, his compatriot Asisat Oshoala was listed among the nominees for the women’s category of the award. The feat is a second one on the trot for the Barcelona Femeni star who made history last year as the first African to have made the list.

The former Arsenal player won a historic treble of the Primera Division title, the Supercopa de Espana Femenina, and the Champions League.

She, 28, scored 21 goals in the domestic league to emerge as joint-top scorer in Spain. Her exploits were quickly followed by a round of 16 outing with the Super Falcons at the recently-ended Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

 

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