Victor Osimhen Makes FIFA Best Shortlist After Ballon d’Or Nomination

Only a few days after being nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or, Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen was named to the FIFA Best Player list on Thursday.

Lionel Messi of Argentina, Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Kylian Mbappe of France were all nominated in the men’s category of the prize alongside the Super Eagles forward.

Julian Alvarez, Marcelo Brozovic, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Declan Rice, and Bernardo Silva are among the other nominees.

Osimhen’s candidacy makes him the first Nigerian player to be considered for the FIFA Best Footballer Award, which Cristiano Ronaldo initially won in 2016.

Osimhen was a monster for Napoli last season, helping the Italian Serie A club win the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years.

The forward scored 25 league goals to beat off Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao for the title of Serie A’s Best Striker.

The achievement earned the 24-year-old the distinction of being the first African to top the Serie A scorers’ chart, as well as breaking George Weah’s record for the most goals scored by an African in the Italian league.

He also helped Napoli reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and was vital in the Super Eagles securing a place to the postponed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Osimhen’s countrywoman, Asisat Oshoala, was nominated for the Ballon d’Or in the female category but did not make the cut for the FIFA Best Award.

The nominees for Women’s Best Player are Aitana Bonmati (ESP), Linda Caicedo (COL), Rachel Daly (ENG), Kadidiatou Diani (FRA), Caitlin Foord (AUS), Mary Fowler (AUS), Alex Greenwood (ENG), Jenni Hermoso (ESP), Lindsey Horan (USA), Amanda Ilestedt (SWE), Lauren James (ENG), Sam Kerr (AUS), Mapi Leon (ESP), Hinata Miyazawa (JPN), Salma Paralluelo (ESP), Keira Walsh (ENG).

Men’s best coach nominees are Pep Guardiola (ESP), Simone Inzaghi (ITA), Ange Postecoglou (AUS), Luciano Spalletti (ITA), and Xavi (ESP).

Women’s best coach nominees are Peter Gerhardsson (SWE), Jonatan Giraldez (ESP), Tony Gustavsson (SWE), Emma Hayes (ENG), and Sarina Wiegman (NED).

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