Osimhen ranked eighth, Messi claims eight Ballon d’Or

Super Eagles and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen ended in eighth position in the 2023 Ballon d’Or award on Monday in Paris.

Argentina megastar, Lionel Messi, won the Ballon d’Or for a record eighth time ahead of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and France’s Kylian Mbappe, who finished second and third respectively.

The 2023 Ballon d’Or France Football award ceremony took place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

Osimhen finished ahead of the likes of Karim Benzema, Jude Bellingham, Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah in the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings.

He became the first Nigerian footballer shortlisted for the award in 24 years, with former Eagles captain Nwankwo Kanu the last Nigerian player to be shortlisted for the award in 1999.

The 24-year-old made history as the first African to be crowned top scorer in Serie A last season. The Napoli man is also the first player from Africa to win the Scudetto and top scorer award same season, after scoring 26 Serie A goals (31 goals in 39 games across all competitions).

Osimhen also helped the Partenopei reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the very first time in the club’s history last term, with the former Lille striker voted the Serie A best striker for the year.

He equally had a remarkable outing with the Eagles during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, scoring 10 goals to finish as the top scorer during the qualifying series while also helping to secure a spot for the Eagles at next year’s continental showpiece event.

Meanwhile, for his charity work in Brazil, Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, founder of the Instituto Vini.Jr, was named the winner of the Socrates Award while his teammate Jude Bellingham won the 2023 Kopa Trophy. Argentina’s goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, won the Yachine Trophy Winner.

FC Barcelona Femeni were named Women’s Club of the Year.

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