In a historic moment for Nigerian football, Victor Osimhen has etched his name in the annals of the sport. This is even as Messi, the Argentine captain, won his record eighth Ballon D’Or.
Meanwhile, Osimhen soared to the new heights, clinching the 8th position in the 2023 Ballon d’Or ranking. This remarkable achievement makes him the first-ever Nigerian player to break into the prestigious top ten, a testament to his extraordinary talent and dedication.
Osimhen’s stellar performance in Serie A didn’t go unnoticed, as he not only became the highest-scoring African player in the league’s history but also secured the coveted Capocannoniere, the Serie A golden boot. His impact on Napoli was transformative, ending the club’s 33-year-long Serie A title drought and leaving an indelible mark on Italian football.
Scoring a staggering 33 goals and providing 5 crucial assists, Osimhen’s brilliance on the field was unparalleled. His achievements reverberated across the globe, positioning him as the best African player in the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings, a feat that set him apart from his peer.
This achievement was a significant milestone for Nigerian football, surpassing the previous highest finish by Kanu Nwankwo in 1996. Osimhen’s triumph not only showcased his exceptional abilities but also served as an inspiration for aspiring footballers in Nigeria and beyond. His legacy as a trailblazer in the sport was firmly established, marking a historic chapter in Nigerian football history.
Osimhen’s position is higher than those of other famous players. He is the highest placed African.
Next to him is Mohamed Salah of Egypt who placed 11th Morocco’s Yassine Bounou is number 13 while Cameroon’s Andre Onana is number 23.
The placing will likely shape the African Footballer of the Year Award holding in Morocco in December.
Previous high-ranked Nigerian players were: 1996 -Kanu Nwankwo (11th)
1995 -Finidi George (21st)
1999 -Kanu Nwankwo (23rd)
1997-Victor Ikpeba (32nd)