Asisat Oshoala makes Nigeria proud with Women’s Ballon d’or 2023 nomination

Asisat Oshoala makes Nigeria proud with Women’s Ballon d’or 2023 nomination
Credit: Icon Sport

Nigeria Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala has been nominated again for the Women's Ballon d'Or.

The women's version of football's most prestigious individual award started in 2018 with Norway striker Ada Hegerberg winning the inaugural prize.

Oshoala, who plies her trade at Barcelona Femeni, has been one of the best strikers in world football. Her exploits since joining Barcelona have shot her up to prominence, much like her male counterpart in the Super Eagles, Victor Osimhen.

Asisat Oshoala, who became the first African to be nominated for the women's award, is now a back-to-back Ballon d'Or nominee, making Nigerians proud.

Why Asisat Oshoala was nominated for Ballon d'Or 2023

Asisat Oshoala is a history-maker on the African continent.

The most recent African nominations for the Ballon d’Or awards were Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah. Before those two, African footballers rarely made it to the 30-man shortlist.

After those two, Oshoala was the next to make it to the Ballon d’Or nominees list, also becoming the first African woman to do so. This is after she had dominated the Women’s Footballer of the Year award, winning it five times to set a record on the continent.

She has continued to be Africa’s most prominent women’s footballer and her second straight nomination for the women’s Ballon d’Or proves it.

She joins fellow Barcelona Femeni teammates Mapi Leon, UEFA Women's Player of the Year (and Ballon d'Or favourite) Aitana Bonmati, Salma Paralluelo, Patricia Guijarro and Fridolina Rolfö as part of the 30-woman shortlist.

Together with these women, Asisat Oshola won the European treble – the Liga Femenino, Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Women's Champions League.

In the record-breaking 2022/23 season, she continued from where she left off in 2021/22 by netting 21 goals and three assists in 28 domestic League appearances. She also had five goals in nine Women’s Champions League appearances as Barcelona Femeni clinched their second Women's Champions League title.

She was the team's top scorer in both competitions just as she was in the 2021/22 season.

The striker also took her outstanding performance to the Women’s World Cup, becoming the first African woman to score in three World Cups when she scored against hosts Australia in the group stages.

Nigerians are hoping that Asisat Oshoala can make it to the podium on the back of her impressive performances for Nigeria and for Barcelona, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Victor Osimhen joins Asisat Oshoala; also makes the list for Ballon d'Or 2023

Alongside Asisat Oshoala, Nigerians are also celebrating Victor Osimhen for his nomination for the men's Ballon d'Or 2023 award.

While the 28-year-old Super Falcon is celebrating her second nomination, Osimhen is celebrating his first.

The Napoli front man turned the world on its head in the 2022/23 season when he scored 26 goals to win the Capocannoniere in Italy and lead the Partenopei to their first Scudetto in 33 years.

Osimhen also became the first Nigerian player to be nominated for the mean award since 1999, when Nwankwo Kanu, then at Arsenal, received a nomination.

Osimhen will battle it out with Ballon d'Or favourite, seven-time winner Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Antoine Griezmann and Robert Lewandowski.

Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo is conspicuously missing from the list for the first time in over 15 years, which signifies the end of an era.

Nigerians are also hoping that Victor Osimhen finishes on the podium just as they are hoping for Asisat Oshoala's podium finish.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

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