Victor Osimhen Makes Ballon d’Or Shortlist

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award. The 24-year-old striker becomes the first Nigerian to be nominated for the award since 1999.

Victor Osimhen, Nominated for Ballon d'Or after stellar campaign with Napoli
Victor Osimhen, Nominated for Ballon d’Or after stellar campaign with Napoli

Osimhen had a spectacular year with Napoli last season as he helped the Gli-Azzurri to their first Scudetto triumph in 33 years and their third overall.

Osimhen won the Capocannoniere award in the Serie A last season after netting 26 times in the league for Napoli. He scored 31 goals in all competitions last season, including 5 goals in 6 UEFA Champions League appearances.

The Last Nigerian To Earn Ballon d’Or Nomination

The last Nigerian nominated for the prestigious award was Sunday Oliseh. The midfielder was shortlisted after his wonderful performances with Ajax.

Osimhen was also instrumental for Nigeria in their World Cup qualification campaign, although they didn’t qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Other Africans Nominated For 2023 Ballon d’Or

Victor Osimhen, Nominated for Ballon d'Or after stellar campaign with Napoli

Other Africans nominated for the award include Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Manchester United’s Andre Onana, and Morocco’s Yassine Bounou

The first and only African to win the award was Liberia’s George Weah in 1995, when he was playing at AC Milan. 

Nigerians That Have Been Nominated For Ballon d’Or Previously

Other Nigerian players that have been shortlisted for the Ballon d’or award include Finidi George (1995) Austin Jay-Jay Okocha (1995), Daniel Amokachi (1995), Nwankwo Kanu (1996,1999), Victor Ikpeba (1997), and Sunday Oliseh (1998).