Osimhen, Oshoala in record Ballon d’Or nominations for Nigeria

Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala, the Super Falcons star, have set a record for nominations for the prestigious Ballon d’Or Award achieving the first time Nigeria will have both male and female award nominations,

Osimhen, 24, is the first Nigerian male footballer to be so nominated in 24 years since Nwankwo Kanu was nominated for the prestigious prize in 1999.

Oshola, 28, is being nominated for the Ballon d’Or women’s player of the year award for the second successive year.

Osimhen has been in dazzling form in recent times for his club, Napoli and the Super Eagles star striker, scoring 17 goals in 25 international appearances, and scored 26 Serie A goals and added 4 assists in 32 league appearances to emerge as the highest goal scorer and lead Partenopei to their first Serie A title in 33 years. He is currently the highest-scoring African of all time in the Italian first division.

He is the 7th Nigerian male footballer to earn a Ballon d’Or award nomination after Finidi George (1995), Austin Jay-Jay Okocha (1995), Daniel Amokachi (1995), Nwankwo Kanu (1996, 1999), Victor Ikpeba (1997), and Sunday Oliseh (1998).

Oshoala, the reigning African women’s player of the year, confirmed her status as the best African player after becoming the first female African player to get the Ballon d’Or nomination in 2022, and the first female African player to score at three different editions of the FIFA World Cup.

Oshoala scored 21 goals in just 28 games to lead FC Barcelona to the 2022/23 Spanish league title and was the Spanish club’s top-scorer with 27 goals in all competitions as the club retained its domestic title and won the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

At the international level, the 5-time record African Player of the Year award winner has scored 31 goals and won the Women’s African Cup of Nations three times with the Super Falcons.

Osimhen is among the list of 30 star players nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or men’s award alongside Inter Miami forward, Lionel Messi and Man City forward Erling Haaland.

The winners of the Ballon d’Or 2023 will be announced on October 30 at a ceremony taking place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

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