Nigerian male and female internationals, Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala, have set a record as they make Nigeria the first African country to have male and female Ballon d’or nominees in the same year.
The recently released list has names of players such as Erling Halaand, Loinel Messi, Karim Benzema amongst others in the male category, and Patricia Guijarro, Mapi Leon, Aitana Bonmatti amongst others in the female category.
Both players enjoyed goal scoring seasons as the 2022/23 season saw Victor Osimhen light up the Serie A, scoring goals for fun as he broke the long-term record held by George Weah for the most scoring African which he set in 1999 at 45 goals, breaking the record in about five games less.
He crowned the season in fine style as his contributions in front of goal proved essential in securing Napoli’s first Scudetto after a 33 year waiting period. He impressively became the first African to win the Serie A top scorer with 26goals. He is also top scorer in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers and finished the 22/23season with 37 goals in all competitions.
Asisat Oshoala also enjoyed a stellar 2022/23 season with Barcelona as she fired 21 goals in 28 appearances in the Liga F. She also scored in the Champions League and led Nigeria to a strong run at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament.
Asisat’s inputs ensured the female Barcelona team remarkably won the continental treble, lifting the League, the SuperCopa and the UEFA Champions League titles.