Super Eagles attacker,Victor Osimhen, recently added his name to an exclusive list of Nigerian football stars who have received Ballon d’Or nominations.
The Napoli striker, who played a pivotal role in securing the Scudetto for his club last season, was among the 30 nominees announced for this year’s prestigious award.
However, Osimhen is not the first Nigerian to earn this remarkable recognition. Over the years, several Nigerian footballers have been acknowledged for their outstanding performances on the global stage.
As a result, Soccernet.ng highlights the top eight Nigerian stars who have earned Ballon d’Or nominations.
1. Finidi George – 1995
The former Real Betis winger secured a nomination in 1995, thanks to his standout performances with Ajax, helping the team win the UEFA Champions League.
2. Daniel Amokachi – 1995
Legendary Super Eagles forward, Amokachi, was also nominated in 1995 following a successful season with Premier League side Everton, where he played a key role in their FA Cup triumph.
3. Austin Jay-Jay Okocha – 1995
Known for his mesmerizing skills, Okocha received a Ballon d’Or nomination in 1995 while playing for Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga, where he left a lasting impression with his performances.
4. Nwankwo Kanu – 1996, 1999
Kanu made history as the first Nigerian to be nominated twice for the Ballon d’Or. His first nomination came in 1996, following his leadership of the Dream Team to Olympic gold. He received another nomination in 1999.
5. Victor Ikpeba – 1997
Dubbed the ‘Prince of Monaco,’ Ikpeba earned a Ballon d’Or nomination in 1997. He shone brightly for Monaco in the French Ligue 1, contributing significantly with goals in both league and UEFA Cup matches.
6. Sunday Oliseh – 1998
Former Juventus midfielder, Oliseh, was nominated in 1998. His exceptional performances for Ajax Amsterdam in the Eredivisie and with the Super Eagles at the FIFA World Cup in France earned him this recognition.
7. Asisat Oshoala – 2022, 2023
The Super Falcons forward, Oshoala, has received two Ballon d’Or nominations. Her first came in 2022, and she added another in 2023. Oshoala’s achievements include winning the treble with Barcelona and leading the Super Falcons to the round of 16 in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
8. Victor Osimhen – 2023
Victor Osimhen secured his first Ballon d’Or nomination in 2023. He had a remarkable season with Napoli, scoring 26 goals to clinch the Serie A title for the club after a 33-year wait. Osimhen also contributed five goals in the UEFA Champions League as Napoli reached the quarter-finals.