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HomeNewsNigerian Government Applauds Osimhen, Oshoala For 2023 Ballon D'or Nomination Award, Winner...

Nigerian Government Applauds Osimhen, Oshoala For 2023 Ballon D’or Nomination Award, Winner Expected in Paris on October 30

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By Goodluck Ikiebe

The Nigerian Government has applauded
Nigerian duo of Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala for clinching the nomination for 2023 Ballon d’Or awards in the male and female categories, making Nigeria the first-ever African country to have nominees in both categories in the same year.

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, while congratulating the nominees on Friday in his office in Abuja, stated that President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the entire Federal Executive Council as well as all sports loving Nigerians felicitate with them for becoming one of the few players from the country to have achieved the feat.

He stated that both players enjoyed an incredible year for their clubs and country with Osimhen, currently a leading scorer in the African Cup of Nations qualifying series, having scored seven goals.

This, the Minister added, *makes him the first male Nigerian footballer to be shortlisted for the award in 24 years, apart from Kanu Nwankwo, who was the last Nigerian player to be shortlisted for the award in 1999*

Senator Enoh explained that the 24-year-old made history as the first African to be crowned Capocannoniere last season in the Serie A when he scored 25 league goals last term, beating off Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao to scoop the prize for the Best Striker in Serie A.

He noted that Osimhen also helped the team reach the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League and was instrumental to the sealing of a ticket by the Super Eagles to the delayed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

This feat, the Minister said earned the 24-year-old player, the accolade as the first African to top the Serie A scorers’ chart.

According to him, the Nigerian Sports Icon broke George Weah’s record for the highest goals scored by an African in the Italian league with the achievement, while the Napoli striker was the first from the continent to achieve the feat, adding that the player also won the Scudetto after scoring 26 Serie A goals (31 goals in 39 games across all competitions).

Senator Enoh stated further that Oshoala, on her part , earned her consecutive nomination after a successful campaign with Barcelona Femeni where she won the Women’s Champions League.

Last year, he said, she became the first African to be nominated for the Women’s Ballon d’Or and this time, she is the only African player listed in the women’s category.

The Minister added that the 28-year-old was the top scorer for Barcelona Femeni last season after she notched 26 goals (21 league goals and five in the Women’s Champions League) in all competitions, noting that Oshoala was also instrumental to Barcelona Femeni winning the league title and the Women’s Champions League last season.

The nomination of the duo for the awards, he added, not only made Nigeria proud globally, but will also spur the present administration to invest more in the development of Sports with a view to ensuring that the country joins the Committee of sporting nations.

While urging the Athletes to continue to make the country proud through podium finishes, Senator Enoh called on relevant stakeholders in the Sporting industry to join hands with the government, not only for the purpose of the development of the sector, but also to ensure economic growth of the nation.

Super Falcons and FC Barcelona Femeni forward, Oshoala, enjoyed a successful season at club level in which she won her second UEFA Women’s Champions League title in addition to the Spanish league.

Oshoala joined up with the Nigerian national team for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and scored once as the side reached the Last 16 before crashing out on penalties against England.

The 28-year-old received a nomination last year, too, and was nominated for the Socrates Award for her charity work this year, as well.

She joins Kadidiatou Diani, Wendie Renard, Alba Redondo, Olga Carmona, Mapi Leon, Aitana Bonmati, Patri Guijarro, Salma Paralluelo, Rachel Daly, Georgia Stanway, Miller Bright and Mary Earps on the 30-player shortlist. Jill Roord, Daphne Van Domselaar, Yui Hasegawa, Hinata Miyazawa, Alexandra Popp, Lena Oberdorf, Sam Kerr, and Hayley Raso are also on the shortlist. The list is completed by Amanda Ilestedt, Fridolina Rolfo, Guro Reiten, Linda Caicedo, Debinha, Sophia Smith, Khadija Shaw, Katie McCabe, and Ewa Pajor.

In the men’s circle, Super Eagles and Napoli star Victor Osimhen was nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award, becoming the first male Nigerian footballer to receive a nomination since 1999.

The lanky forward propelled Napoli to a first Scudetto title since 1990, scoring a good number of goals and winning the Capocannoniere.

The 24-year-old Nigerian star, joins Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Julian Alvarez, Jude Bellingham, Nicolo Barella, Karim Benzema, Yassine Bono, Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Antoine Griezmann, Ilkay Gundogan, Josko Gvardiol and Harry Kane on the shortlist.

Randal Kolo Muani, Robert Lewandowski, Emiliano Martinez, Lautaro Martinez, Kim Min-Jae, Luka Modric, Jamal Musiala, Martin Odegaard, Andre Onana, Rodri, Bukayo Saka, Mohamed Salah, Bernardo Silva and Vinicius Junior were also the players that made the 30 mans list for the Ballon d’Or award

The prestigious ceremony for the final award is expected to be held in Paris on October 30, 2023.

Global News Network Correspondent
Global News Network Correspondenthttps://globalnewsnetwork.com.ng
GNN is a News blog based in Nigeria to educate, inform and Analyse issues of interest like Politics, Health, Solid Minerals, Energy and Power, Transportation, Defence and Security, Sports and Entertainment to our teeming audience. Stories are generated by seasoned veteran Editors and Journalists. We Say It As It Is.

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