Serie A Golden Boot winner, Victor Osimhen is set to rival Leo Messi and other European starlets, after his nomination for the Ballon d’Or.
Nigerian striker and Napoli super-hero, Victor Osimhen has been nominated for the Football’s most prized individual award, the Ballon d’Or, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 24-year-old striker, currently enjoying his International break with the Super Eagles, will compete with the likes of Lionel Messi, Bukayo Saka, Rodri, Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe, Luka Modric, and Erling Haaland for this year’s Ballon d’Or.
With Osimhen’s nomination, he becomes the first Nigerian to be nominated for the prestigious prize, twenty-four years after Nwankwo Kanu was nominated in 1999, a year that saw Papilo take home his second African Footballer of the Year award.
The Napoli striker carted away with the Capocannoniere award, scoring twenty-six Serie A goals last term to lead the Partenopei to a Scudetto title for the first time in more than three decades.
He was also instrumental for the club as his five goals in the Champions League helped the Italian outfit to reach the quarter-final, and could have even gone further, had he not picked up an injury that kept him out of the first leg against Italian rivals, A.C. Milan.
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@ballondor) September 6, 2023
Osimhen’s partner in attack, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was also nominated after a stellar season in Naples.
The Serie A most valuable player tormented defenders in the League, scoring twelve and setting up his teammates ten times, to have a hand in twenty-two goals as Napoli proved the doubters wrong.
The Nigerian faces stiff competition from the seven-time recipient of the award, Leo Messi, after the Inter Miami forward led La Albiceleste to a triumph at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Erling Haaland is also a very close shot, as he won a treble with Manchester City, scoring thirty-six premier league goals, a feat Cristiano Ronaldo, or Luis Suarez couldn’t achieve during their time in the league.