Nigeria national football team fans are excited about the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala are nominees for the award, making Nigeria the first African country to present a male and a female nominee for the award. Nigerians have their fingers crossed for a good finish in the voting for both of them.
With the award already here, here is information on the 2023 Ballon d’Or including the date and venue of the ceremony.
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@ballondor) October 29, 2023
What is the Ballon d’Or?
It is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956.
Between 2010 and 2015, in an agreement with FIFA, the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year (founded in 1991) and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or.
That partnership ended in 2016, and the award reverted to the Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award – The Best FIFA Men's Player. The recipients of the joint FIFA Ballon d'Or are considered as winners by both award organisations.
However, the Ballon d’Or is widely regarded as football’s most prestigious and valuable individual award. Despite that, fans have always queried the process, describing it as a “popularity contest”.
Which players have been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or?
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen is among the names shortlisted for the 2023 Ballon d'Or award by French Football. The Napoli striker had a fabulous year and he hopes to record the highest finish by any Nigerian at the end of the day.
Nigeria is the first African country to produce nominees for the Ballon d'Or and Women's Ballon d'Or in the same year.
Victor Osimhen is up for the Ballon d'Or, while Asisat Oshoala is up for the Women's Ballon d'Or. pic.twitter.com/ZNKRclxXzh
— Nwachukwu (@chigozie0102) September 16, 2023
Osimhen is up against huge favourites- Lionel Messi and treble-winning Manchester City’s free-scoring Erling Haaland.
The Argentina captain led his country to victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and he won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, Haaland secured a historic treble with Manchester City, scoring 52 goals across all competitions in his debut season for the Manchester club – capped off with winning the Champions League.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has been omitted for the first time since 2003.
Other notable names listed include; Kylian Mbappe, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Karim Benzema, Bukayo Saka, Andre Onana, Luka Modric, Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham.
How does Ballon d'Or voting work?
Unlike the Best Awards where coaches, fans and captains do vote, the Ballon d'Or voting is mostly undertaken by journalists.
During the last edition, 100 journalists from FIFA's top 100 nations selected their top five players from the 30-player shortlist that had previously been decided.
It uses a ranking system and the number of votes are awarded based on that, as seen below.
First: Six points
Second: Four points
Third: Three points
Fourth: Two points
Fifth: One point
Where will the ceremony take place?
The event has been scheduled to take place at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet on Monday, October 30.
The venue is a theatre and opera house, located in the place du Châtelet in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. It has a capacity of 2,500.
It is expected that the ceremony will get underway at 20:00 UK time although that is subject to change.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago