Asisat Oshoala up for 2023 Ballon D’or Socrates award

Asisat Oshoala up for 2023 Ballon D’or Socrates award
Credit: Iconsport

Asisat Oshoala, Super Falcons and Barcelona striker has been nominated for the Socrates award.

The 28-year-old Women’s African player of the year is up for the award, which was introduced last year by the organizers of the Ballon D'or to reward players for their charity work outside of football.

Along with Asisat Oshoala are other nominees who have done commendable works outside of football to improve humanity around them.

It is on this note that these players have been selected amongst the many footballers across the globe to honour their giant strides towards human developmental needs.

Asisat Oshoala's foundation and football academy

Asisat Oshoala was nominated for the Socrates award due to her giant strides in setting up a foundation way back in 2015 and also a football academy which is of particular concern to the outside world.

Asisat Oshoala in action for Barcelona
Credit: Iconsport

The FC Barcelona Femení star announced the launch of the ‘Asisat Oshoala Academy’ (AOA) in 2022. According to the striker, the academy is in partnership with Nike and Women Win.

AOA is aimed at providing access to football and life skills for marginalized schoolgirls in Lagos.

The academy is the latest initiative of Asisat Oshoala that will build upon her mission of providing access to sport and education for young girls in her community.

She was quoted saying “I have always strived to give back to the girl child in my community and I believe this football academy will provide opportunities for more girls to excel through the combination of sport and education. I want to thank our partners Women Win and Nike for helping bring this platform to life. Together we can go further and achieve a lot more.”

Like we've mentioned before, the Asisat Oshoala Foundation was established in 2015 and it's responsible for the day-to-day management of the academy.

Women Win, the Amsterdam-based global women’s fund dedicated to advancing girls and women’s rights, brings their expertise to the academy’s development.

Women Win brands director, Yvonne Henry had this to say about the AOA “Women Win is very proud and excited to be partnering with our longtime partner Nike, Asisat and the Asisat Oshoala Academy to leverage the power of sport to support girls in Nigeria to become better equipped to exercise their rights. This partnership and program will be key in ensuring girls can thrive as they face the most pressing issues of adolescence and realise their inherent leadership potential,”

AOA provides 30 girls (aged 12 – 18) with access to 90 mins of football training three times a week. The program incorporates life skills and education, covering a range of empowerment and rights-based topics.

It is the good works that Asisat Oshoala has put into the Foundation and academy that France Football Magazine, the organisers of the Ballon D'or, deemed it necessary to include the Nigerian amongst the nominees. It will be a thing of joy if she lands the Ballon D'or under this category.

Asisat Oshoala's importance to the Super Falcons

Asisat Oshoala is of great importance to Nigeria's Super Falcons. Her absence for Nigeria in any event lowers the team's confidence and chances, just like it is with the Super Eagles when Victor Osimhen is not there.

Nigeria will be seeking to have a good outing in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia/New Zealand which kicks off this July.

With Oshoala's presence in the team, Nigeria has a chance to fight and progress from Group B. The Super Falcons will battle the host Australia, Canada and Ireland for a place in the next stage.

Oshoala and her teammates will kick-start their FIFA Women's World Cup campaign against Canada on 21 July.

Socrates award nominees

We have established before that other nominees are up for the award. As a matter of fact, we have four other nominees who will battle Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala for the award.

The other nominees are Real Madrid defender, Antonio Rudiger; Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford; Real Madrid forward, Vinicius Junior; and Alex Morgan who plays for San Diego Wave FC of the National Women's Soccer League, the highest division of women's professional soccer in the United States.

Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger in action for Real Madrid
Credit: Iconsport

His nomination comes after his excellent humanitarian work with the Antonio Rüdiger Foundation. The Foundation has previously worked with medical humanitarian organisation, Big Shoe to treat children with medical issues.

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford in action for England
Credit: Iconsport

Rashford got his nomination from his many charitable works. He inspired the entire nation by convincing the government to provide free school meals to poorer students during holidays.

The United striker had the initiative to wrap boxes full of items to deliver to poor people. His actions encouraged people to wrap festive boxes full of household items and do the same.

The Manchester United star has always been keen to get involved with charitable causes. He also got involved with FareShare.

FareShare is a charity organisation that is aimed at relieving food poverty and reducing food waste.

Rashford teamed up with them in order to raise over £20 million to provide children across Manchester with food if they got none, whilst they were still in school.

The initiative began in Greater Manchester but later expanded as part of a national initiative.

Rashford has done a lot more and it's on this desire to help lives that he got his nomination.

Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Junior
Credit: Iconsport

The Real Madrid star was nominated for his giant strides with his foundation, the Instituto Vini Jr.

Instituto Vini Jr. was launched by Vinicius to fulfill his family's dream of helping those who are in as much need as he was while growing up.

The organization uses technology and sport to educate young Brazilians and, ultimately, make the country a more equal place.

In a country where the rich attend the best schools, students in public schools aren't taken care of, this necessitated Vinicius to help students who cannot afford a private education. His institute launched Base, an education app that uses football as a means of engaging children. The app has made its debut at his old school in Rio, and has expanded to other schools in Brazil.

In recognition of Vini's work, France Football nominated him for the Socrates award.

Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan during Women's World Cup Media day
Credit: Iconsport

Alex Morgan launched her own foundation to provide support, empowerment and an example for young girls and mothers in San Diego’s South Bay, United States.

On setting up the foundation, Morgan said “Just seeing the lack of access for girls in sports here was really important for me to help give more support”.

The U.S soccer player said her foundation is centered in three areas: sports equality, girl empowerment and supporting mothers.

And so, her continuing work to help young girls garnered praise and in recognition of that, she got her nomination.

The winner of the 2023 Socrates award will be announced during the Ballon D'or ceremony later this year.

Past winners of the Socrates award

The Socrates award honours footballers who campaign for integration, climate protection, disadvantaged people, those threatened by conflict and general human development.

The Socrates award is a Ballon D'or ceremony for footballers in this category named after the former Brazil international, who passed away in 2011. Socrates was politically active and fought in the 1980s for social change, calling for fans and players to rebel against the military dictatorship in his country at the time.

Sadio Mane was the maiden recipient of the award in 2022 for his outstanding charitable works in Senegal.

Sadio Mane isn’t just an exceptional footballer but also makes an impact far beyond the pitch. As recognition for his extraordinary social commitment, the Senegal international was named the inaugural winner of the Socrates Award at the Ballon D'or ceremony in Paris.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Socrates award

What is the Socrates award?

The Socrates award is a Ballon D'or award that rewards football players for their charity work outside of football.

Who first won the Socrates award?

Sadio Mane won the inaugural award in 2022.

When will the Socrates award ceremony take place?

The Socrates award gala will take place later this year.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago