Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro holds the belief that Victor Osimhen, the Napoli forward, possesses the potential to secure the Ballon d’Or in the coming years.
Osimhen has earned a place among the 30 nominees for the 2023 Men’s Ballon d’Or and is also one of the 12 contenders for the 2023 FIFA The Best Men’s Player Award. Remarkably, he stands as the first Nigerian male footballer in 24 years to receive a Ballon d’Or nomination.
While it might appear improbable for him to clinch the accolade in 2023, given the competition from a star-studded array of nominees, Peseiro remains hopeful and confident in Osimhen’s abilities, affirming that he has all the necessary potential to achieve this prestigious honor in the future.
“He (Osimhen) can surely win the Ballon d’Or in the future. He’s not lacking anything to do it,” Peseiro said in an interview with Italian publication II Mattino in an interview.
“He has different characteristics than other players that are at the top at this moment, but he scores a lot as well.”
Osimhen’s performance during the 2022–23 season with Napoli was nothing short of remarkable. He played a pivotal role in securing Napoli’s first Serie A title in 33 years, also claiming the golden boot in the process. The striker showcased his prowess by netting 26 goals in Serie A, ultimately leading the Partenopei to the coveted Scudetto after a lengthy hiatus.
Notably, Osimhen’s achievement extends beyond the domestic stage, as he now joins an elite group of Nigerian players who have received Ballon D’Or nominations. He becomes the 7th Nigerian male footballer and the 8th Nigerian player overall to earn this prestigious recognition, following in the footsteps of football luminaries such as Finidi George (1995), Austin Jay-Jay Okocha (1995), Daniel Amokachi (1995), Nwankwo Kanu (1996, 1999), Victor Ikpeba (1997), Sunday Oliseh (1998), and Asisat Oshoala (2022, 2023).
Furthermore, Osimhen’s nomination marks a significant milestone in Nigerian football, as he is the first Nigerian to be nominated for the esteemed Ballon D’Or award since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.
Osimhen’s current form is exceptional, solidifying his status as one of Europe’s premier players. His goal-scoring prowess continues to shine at Napoli, with an impressive tally of 62 goals in 103 appearances.
For the 2023 Ballon D’Or men’s award, Osimhen finds himself in distinguished company, sharing the nomination list with Inter Miami’s forward Lionel Messi and Manchester City’s forward Erling Haaland.
The eagerly anticipated Ballon D’Or ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on October 30th.
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