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Nigerian Stars Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala Nominated for 2023 Ballon d'Or
Nigerian stars Osimhen and Oshoala make history with 2023 Ballon d'Or nominations, joining elite football company in prestigious awards race.
The duo of Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala have earned nominations for the coveted 2023 Ballon d'Or award. This marks the first time in history that two Nigerian players have been recognized in the same year for the prestigious award.
Osimhen's remarkable journey to this nomination was highlighted by his stellar performance for Napoli in the previous season, where he played an instrumental role in the club's Serie A triumph, their first in over three decades. Scoring an astonishing 26 goals, he clinched the title of Italy's top goal scorer, a feat unparalleled by any African player. His exceptional form continued into the new season, with three goals in as many games. Beyond club success, Osimhen has been a standout performer for the Nigerian national team, earning recognition from the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Notably, Osimhen played a pivotal role in securing Nigeria's place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, topping the goal-scoring charts during the qualification campaign.
Additionally, three other African players have secured nominations. The list features Victor Osimhen, Egyptian sensation Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, and goalkeepers André Onana from Cameroon and Yassine Bounou from Morocco, both contending for the Yachine Trophy.
Asisat Oshoala, a prominent figure in Barcelona Femeni, earned her second consecutive Ballon d'Or nomination in the women's category. Last year, Oshoala made history as the first African woman to receive this prestigious recognition. Her achievements include securing the Primera Division title, the Supercopa de Espana Femenina, and the Champions League with Barcelona Femeni. She also shared the top scorer's spot in the Spanish domestic league with 21 goals.
Oshoala's exceptional performances extended to the international stage, where she represented Nigeria's Super Falcons in the Round of 16 at the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Joining her on the nomination list are Women's World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati, Golden Boot recipient Hinata Miyazawa, and Colombian sensation Linda Caicedo.
This year's Ballon d'Or nominations have taken into account outstanding performances not only at the club level but also during the 2022 World Cup. Football enthusiasts around the world will eagerly await the results, which will be unveiled at the prestigious ceremony in Paris on Monday, October 30. Until then, the football world is abuzz with anticipation to see who will claim football's ultimate individual honor.
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