Ballon d’Or 2023: Victor Osimhen finishes ahead of Salah, Lewandowski in final rankings

Ballon d’Or 2023: Victor Osimhen finishes ahead of Salah, Lewandowski in final rankings
Credit: Icon Sport

Victor Osimhen has made history to finish in eighth place in the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings. The striker beat the likes of Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski, 2018 winner Luka Modric, 2021 winner Karim Benzema and treble-winning captain Ilkay Gündogan.

This finish places him in African history alongside President George Weah, Nwankwo Kanu, Sadio Mané and Salah himself, who is one of four players to have made the last five Ballon d'Or nominees list.

It is a thing of pride for fans of the Nigeria national football team and for Victor Osimhen himself, who had faced many challenges in his career.

Victor Osimhen Ballon d'Or finish: The journey to greatness

Victor Osimhen may not have won the 2023 Ballon d'Or because competing with and winning against a phenomenon like Lionel Messi on the individual level is something not many players can manage.

The Super Eagles ace made history with the nomination after making history with one of the best individual seasons that the Italian Serie A has ever come across.

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Credit: Icon Sport

The league that has produced legends like Diego Armando Maradona after whom Napoli's stadium is named, Paolo Maldini, Carlo Ancelotti, Marco Van Basten, Alessandro Del Piero, President George Weah and more will now see their history books include the name of the boy from Olusosun.

Facing off against the likes of Lautaro Martinez, Olivier Giroud, Edin Dzeko, Romelu Lukaku and the likes, Osimhen came out tops to win the  2022/23 Capocannoniere award for top scorer. Not only did he break a Napoli record with the win, he also brought immense joy to the Partenopei by giving them a Scudetto title to celebrate after 33 years.

As a result, the cream of the crop in European football is going after his signature and the former LOSC Lille man is threatening the position of the likes of Nwankwo Kanu, John Obi Mikel and Augustine “Jay Jay” Okocha as Nigeria's most recognisable football icons.

He has been recognised as the eighth best footballer from the 2022/23 football season beating the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, FIFA World Cup winner Lautaro Martinez and many more. Here are the full rankings of the 2023 Ballon d'Or awards.

Rank Player Club Nationality Titles and accomplishments
1 Lionel Messi Inter Miami Argentina FIFA World Cup, Ligue 1, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Cup Silver Boot
2 Erling Haaland Manchester City Norway UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Premier League golden boot, Premier League player of the season
3 Kylian Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain France FIFA World Cup runner-up, Ligue 1, Ligue 1 golden boot, Ligue 1 Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup golden boot. FIFA World Cup silver ball
4 Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Belgium UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup
5 Rodri Manchester City Spain UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League player of the season
6 Vinicius Jnr Real Madrid Brazil FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey
7 Julian Alvarez Manchester City Argentina FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup
8 Victor Osimhen Napoli Nigeria Serie A, Capocannoniere, Serie A best striker award
9 Bernardo Silva Manchester City Portugal UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup
10 Luka Modric Real Madrid Croatia FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey
11 Mohamed Salah Liverpool Egypt FA Community Shield
12 Robert Lewandowski Barcelona Poland LaLiga, Pichichi award
13 Yassine Bounou Al-Hilal Morocco UEFA Europa League
14 Ilkay Gündogan Barcelona Germany UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup
15 Emiliano Martinez Aston Villa Argentina FIFA World Cup
16 Karim Benzema Al-Ittihad France FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey
17 Kvicha Kvaratskhelia Napoli Georgia Serie A
18 Jude Bellingham Real Madrid England
19 Harry Kane Bayern Munich England
20 Lautaro Martinez Inter Milan Argentina FIFA World Cup, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League runner up
21 Antoine Griezmann Atlético de Madrid France FIFA World Cup runner-up
22 Kim Min-jae Bayern Munich South Korea Serie A
23 André Onana Manchester United Cameroon UEFA Champions League runner-up
24 Bukayo Saka Arsenal England
25 Josko Gvardiol Manchester City Croatia DFB-Pokal
26 Jamal Musiala Bayern Munich Germany German Bundesliga, German Super Cup
27 Nicolo Barella Inter Milan Italy Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League runner up
28 Randal Kolo Muani Paris Saint-Germain France FIFA World Cup runner up
28 Martin Ødegaard Arsenal Norway
30 Ruben Dias Manchester City Portugal UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup

Victor Osimhen Ballon d'Or final ranking: Goalball Live assessment

When the 2023 Ballon d'Or nominees list came out with the name Victor Osimhen included in it, Goalball Live made a prediction.

According to our analysis of the 24-year-old striker's competition, we believed that he would finish in seventh place in the final rankings. France Football, the organisers of the awards, culled the votes which could only earn him an eighth-place finish which is not wide off the mark.

Eighth place is fair for his exploits because of the weight of the individual and collective accolades of the players occupying seventh place and above. However, we at Goalball Live feel that names like Vinicius Jnr and Julian Alvarez finishing above Osimhen are debatable.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

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