Prediction: Victor Osimhen’s final Ballon d’Or ranking

Prediction: Victor Osimhen’s final Ballon d’Or ranking
Credit: Icon Sport

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen was shortlisted in the 30-man list for the 2023 Ballon d'Or award by French Football. The Napoli striker had a fabulous year and he keeps getting the right recognition for his performances.

Victor Osimhen has battled different challenges throughout his career from his time in Germany with Wolfsburg to his first season in Naples. However, he was able to put all of that behind himself to help the Partenopei claim their first league title in 33 years.

From the streets of Lagos where he was a hawker to being Scuddetto champion in Napoli like Diego Maradona, Victor Osimhen has probably fulfilled a significant part in his career. 

Meanwhile, with his latest Ballon d’Or nomination, the 24-year-old joined a small list of Nigerian players who have been nominated before in the past. 

Kanu Nwankwo, who was last to be nominated in 1999, Daniel Amokachi, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Finidi Geroge, and Victor Ikpeba complete the exclusive list.

With the above in mind, this article takes a look at how high Victor Osimhen can finish in the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings

Why Osimhen made the 2023 Ballon d'Or nomination list?

Victor Osimhen had a great season at Napoli but much can’t be said of his performance with the Super Eagles after they failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Having started the season on a good note before the World Cup break, Victor Osimhen made good use of the opportunity in Naples to help his side claim a first league title since 1990. 

The young kid from Olusosun and the rest of his teammates did the unlikely as they ran away with the title at the expense of the Milan clubs and Juventus. The former Lille man was also there for Napoli as they reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. 

In total, Victor Osimhen scored 31 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions to propel his side to attain those feats.

What will be Victor Osimhen’s final Ballon d'Or ranking?

Osimhen is up against favourites like 2022 World Cup winner with Argentina and 7-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, PSG striker Kylian Mbappé and treble-winning Manchester City’s free-scoring Erling Haaland. 

Although it remains increasingly unlikely that Victor Osimhen will take home the award, but as one of the best strikers in Europe currently, he deserves to finish higher than Nwankwo Kanu did – 13th in 1999. 

Victor Osimhen is one of the players listed from the African continent who made the 30-man shortlist. He is also in the run-in for the African Footballer of the Year – an award Kanu Nwankwo won back in 1999.

Individually, 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. In addition, he also won the Best African (International) award at the Ghana Football Awards earlier this year. 

So, in view of the above, it will be sacrilegious for Victor Osimhen to finish outside the top ten when the event takes place at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet on Monday, October 30.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

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