Nigerian international players, Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala, have achieved a historic feat by both being nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award, Soccernet.ng reports.
This nomination marks a significant milestone for Nigeria, making it the first country to have male and female football players nominated for the prestigious award in the same year.
Osimhen, representing the Super Eagles, has made a significant impact in the Italian Serie A, where he has garnered numerous accolades.
During the 2022-23 season, Osimhen scored an impressive 26 goals in Serie A league matches, in addition to five goals in the UEFA Champions League and seven goals in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the Super Eagles.
However, his outstanding performance played a pivotal role in Napoli clinching the Italian Scudetto after a 33-year wait.
His Osimhen’s nomination places him in competition with football luminaries such as Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe, and Kevin De Bruyne, among others.
— Ayomide Oguntimehin (@ayo_oguntimehin) September 6, 2023
Likewise, Oshoala has earned her nomination in the female categoryOshoala has earned her nomination in the female category due 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.
Both Osimhen and Oshoala have brought pride to the Nigerian football community with their outstanding achievements, giving fans plenty to cheer about.