Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen was named for the FIFA Best Player award on Thursday, just a few days after being shortlisted for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.
In the men’s category of the award, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Lionel Messi of Argentina were also nominated alongside the Super Eagles forward.
Julian Alvarez, Marcelo Brozovic, lkay Gundogan, Rodri, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Declan Rice, and Bernardo Silva are more nominees.
With his nomination, Osimhen becomes the first footballer from Nigeria to be considered for the FIFA Best Footballer Award, which Cristiano Ronaldo initially won in 2016.
Last season, Osimhen put on an incredible show for Napoli, which helped the Italian Serie A team win their first Scudetto in 33 years.
The forward won the award for the Best Striker in Serie A after outscoring Rafael Leao of AC Milan and Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan with 25 league goals.
The 24-year-old accomplished both breaking George Weah’s record for the most goals scored by an African in the Italian league and becoming the first African to top the Serie A scorers’ chart.
He also played a key role in the Super Eagles securing a spot in the postponed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as well as helping Napoli go to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
Asisat Oshoala, a fellow countrywoman who received a Ballon d’Or nomination in the female division, was not selected for the FIFA Best Award.
The nominees for Women’s Best Player are Aitana Bonmati (ESP), Linda Caicedo (COL), Rachel Daly (ENG), Kadidiatou Diani (FRA), Caitlin Foord (AUS), Mary Fowler (AUS), Alex Greenwood (ENG), Jenni Hermoso (ESP), Lindsey Horan (USA), Amanda Ilestedt (SWE), Lauren James (ENG), Sam Kerr (AUS), Mapi Leon (ESP), Hinata Miyazawa (JPN), Salma Paralluelo (ESP), Keira Walsh (ENG).
Pep Guardiola (ESP), Simone Inzaghi (ITA), Ange Postecoglou (AUS), Luciano Spalletti (ITA), and Xavi (ESP) are the candidates for men’s best coach.
Peter Gerhardsson (SWE), Jonatan Giraldez (ESP), Tony Gustavsson (SWE), Emma Hayes (ENG), and Sarina Wiegman (NED) are the women’s best coach nominees.