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Plaudits for Osimhen, Oshoala after Ballon d’Or nomination

The Nigeria Football Federation has congratulated Super Eagles’ top striker Victor Osimhen and Super Falcons’ forward Asisat Oshoala on their nominations for this year’s Ballon d’Or honours.

The duo is part of the five African players vying to win one of the most prestigious awards in the football world.

Osimhen, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Cameroon’s Andre Onana and Morocco’s Yassine Bounou have dazzled their way to the 2023 men’s shortlist, after impressing football fans and pundits over the past season.

They are up global favourites such as Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi.

Osimhen, who scored 26 goals in the Italian Serie A last season to steer Napoli to their first Italian league title in 33 years, also scored five goals in the UEFA Champions League, in which Napoli made it to the semi-finals.

He is also the leading scorer in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with seven goals.

Oshoala, on her part, is the only woman from the continent nominated in the female category. She has won the Confederation of African Footballer’s African Women’s Player of the Year award a stunning five times.

The 28-year-old was the top scorer for Barcelona Femeni last season after she notched 26 goals (21 league goals and five in the Women’s Champions League) in all competitions.

She was also instrumental in Barcelona Femeni winning the league title and the Women’s Champions League last season.

“We are indeed very proud of the nominations of our players Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala for the Ballon d’Or. It is the first time that players from the same country are nominated for both male and female categories, and this makes us proud. It also underscores the stellar careers that both players have at the moment, and we pray that God will continue to take them from glory to glory.

“These nominations will also, no doubt, encourage other Nigerian players everywhere to be pivotal for their Clubs and also for the National Team anytime they are on the international road,” NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, said.

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