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Osimhen and Oshoala Among Nominees for Ballon d’Or

Osimhen and Oshoala Among Nominees for Ballon d’Or 

Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala have both been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award, competing in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. The prestigious awards ceremony is scheduled to occur in Paris on October 30th.

Both players had exceptional years representing their clubs and national teams. Osimhen, who is currently the top scorer in the African Cup of Nations qualifying series with seven goals, holds the distinction of being the first male Nigerian footballer to be nominated for the award in 24 years. The last Nigerian star to be nominated for the award was former Nigerian star Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.

At the age of 24, he made history by becoming the first African player to win the Capocannoniere title in the previous Serie A season. The Napoli striker also accomplished the remarkable feat of clinching the Scudetto after netting 26 goals in Serie A (and a total of 31 goals in 39 games across all competitions), a first for a player from the African continent.

Oshoala, on the other hand, secured her second consecutive nomination following her outstanding performance with Barcelona Femeni, where she triumphed in the Women’s Champions League.

In the previous year, she achieved the milestone of becoming the first African to be nominated for the Women’s Ballon d’Or. Remarkably, this time around, she stands as the sole African player featured in the women’s category.

The 28-year-old excelled as the leading goal scorer for Barcelona Femeni last season, netting a total of 26 goals (comprising 21 league goals and five in the Women’s Champions League) across all competitions.

She played a pivotal role in Barcelona Femeni’s triumph, contributing significantly to their league title win and securing the Women’s Champions League victory last season.

Lionel Messi is the frontrunner for an eighth Ballon d’Or title following Argentina’s World Cup victory, with Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland as strong contenders. Other notable nominees include Bukayo Saka, Mohamed Salah, and Harry Kane, among many others.

The Women’s Ballon d’Or Award has 20 nominees, including Aitana Bonmati, Millie Bright, Linda Caicedo, Olga Carmona, Rachel Daly, Debinha, Mary Earps, Patricia Guijarro, Yui Hasegawa, Amanda Ilestedt, Diani Kadidiatou, Sam Kerr, Mapi Leon, Katie McCabe, Hinata Miyazawa, Lena Oberdorf, Asisat Oshoala, Ewa Pajor, Salma Paralluelo, Alexandra Popp, Hayley Raso, Alba Redondo, Guro Reiten, Wendie Renard, Fridolina Rolfo, Jill Roord, Khadija Shaw, Sophia Smith, Georgia Stanway, and Daphne Van Domselaar.

Bellingham is a contender for the main prize and the U-21 Kopa Trophy. Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund is also a contender for the Kopa Trophy due to his impressive season with Atalanta.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale is nominated for the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper of the year, alongside Andre Onana (Manchester United), Ederson (Manchester City), and Emiliano Martinez (World Cup winner).

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