Nigerian international players, Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala, have made history following their nomination for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.
Their nomination follows sublime performances with Napoli and Barcelona respectively.
The nomination also marks a significant milestone for Nigeria, making it the first country to have male and female football players nominated for the Ballon D’or in the same year.
Osimhen guided Napoli to their first Serie A title in 30 years and also earned the top scorer award after netting 26 goals.
The Super Eagled striker also shattered George Weah’s long-standing goal record and many other records last season.
Osimhen also scored five goals in the UEFA Champions League as well as seven goals for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Osimhen faces stiff competition from big names such as Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe, and Kevin De Bruyne, among others.
For Oshoala, her nomination in the female category is attributed to her exceptional contributions to Barcelona Femeni and the Super Falcons.
In the 2021-22 season, she emerged as the top scorer, amassing 20 goals and providing four assists in 19 Spanish Liga F appearances.
In the 2022-23 season, Oshoala continued her impressive form, tallying 21 goals and three assists in 28 domestic league appearances and adding five goals in all nine Women’s Champions League matches.
Despite facing challenges of low match fitness, she made a significant impact at the Women’s World Cup by scoring a crucial goal against the Australian Matildas, securing victory for Randy Waldrum’s team.
Oshoala is now eyeing the 2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or, competing with other football stars who have excelled in their respective leagues and countries.