Napoli and Nigeria Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen has made an honest claim ahead of the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony later this month.
The Striker, who had a fabulous year with Napoli by leading them to the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years, was nominated alongside Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland for the prestigious award.
On a personal note, Osimhen is aiming to finish higher than Kanu Nwankwo did – 13th in 1999 – on the Ballon d’Or rankings.
Being a first-time recognition for the 24-year-old striker, he is not considered as one of the hot favourites to take home the award but he has decided to make an honest claim before the event next Monday.
Haaland and Messi both deserve the Ballon d'Or – Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen granted an interview to TV Play and he had this to say on the Ballon d’Or.
“Haaland and Messi both deserve the Ballon d'Or, they both had a fabulous season but I don't want to give a preference.
“If it arrives for me too it will be fabulous, but it's not an obsession, for me already being a player at this level is a dream. I feel very comfortable in Naples: scoring is always a thrill, doing it at Maradona even more so,” he concluded.
Osimhen, Haaland, Messi: 2023 Ballon d’Or 30-man shortlist
France Football, the organizers of the Ballon d’Or award, could not ignore Victor Osimhen’s achievements with Napoli in the past year.
Asides winning the Italian league with Napoli, Victor Osimhen claimed the Serie A Best Striker 2022–23, Capocannoniere 2022–23, and was named in the Serie A Team of the Season 2022–23.
The Lagos-born forward is the first Nigerian to be nominated for the award since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999 and just the seventh Nigerian to be nominated after Daniel Amokachi, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Finidi Geroge, Victor Ikpeba, Sunday Oliseh and Kanu.
The full list of nominees is below:
Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City)
André Onana (Manchester United)
Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad)
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Randal Kolo Muani (Paris Saint Germain)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa)
Rúben Dias (Manchester City)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal)
Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal)
Julián Álvarez (Manchester City)
Ilkay Gündogan (Barcelona)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)
Rodri (Manchester City)
Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain)
Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich)
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
Reports: Lionel Messi chosen as 2023 Ballon d’Or winner
According to several trusted sources, Lionel Messi has been chosen as the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner, beating Victor Osimhen, Erling Haaland, and others to the award.
Messi, who is a seven-time winner of the most prestigious individual prize in football, is to be presented with the award for the eighth time after another excellent year of football especially with Argentina.
The Barcelona great led Argentina to their third-ever FIFA World Cup title at the 2022 edition of the global showpiece in Qatar last December. An achievement many believe is the ultimate decider for the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner.
Where and when is the 2023 Ballon d’Or?
The Ballon d’Or 2023 ceremony will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday, 30th October.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago