Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ballon d’Or 2023: Victor Osimhen Makes History

Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen was ranked 8th place at the 2023 Men’s Ballon d’Or Monday night.

Osimhen had an outstanding 2022–2023 season, as his 25 league goals helped Italian football royalty Napoli to their first Seria A title in 33 years.

He clinched the Best Striker in Series A gong ahead of Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.

Osimhen scored five times in six games for Napoli as they reached the quarterfinal stages of the UEFA Champions League. He was instrumental in the Super Eagles sealing a ticket for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). His league goals helped him become the first African to top the Serie A scorers’ chart and break George Weah’s record for the most goals scored by an African in the Italian league.

Victor Osimhen is the first Nigerian to be nominated in the male category in 24 years. Kanu Nwankwo was the last Super Eagles star to earn a nomination. With his 8th-place finish, the goal-scoring machine sets the record as the highest-ranked Nigerian player at the Ballon d’Or and also the highest-ranked African player at the year’s edition.

According to the journalist Giuseppe Pastore, “this is the best result ever for a Napoli player, given that the previous record belonged to Ruud Krol, who ended 15th in 1980.”

Victor Osimhen is joined in the top 10 by Julian Alvarez, Kevin de Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, Luka Modric, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Vini Jr., and Lionel Messi.


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