Victor Osimhen Becomes The Highest Ranked African, And Nigerian Player Ever At The 2023 Ballon d'Or.

Victor Osimhen has been ranked in 8th place at the 2023 Men’s Ballon d’Or Monday night.

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

Osimhen became the first Nigerian player to be named in the top ten of the Ballon d’Or in 24-years after former Super Eagles forward Nwankwo Kanu finished 11th in 1996.

The 24-year-old, is also the highest-ranking African player, finishing ahead of Egyptian king Mohammed Salah, who placed 11th.

Osimhen contributed to Napoli winning their first Serie A title in 33 years. He made history as the first African to be crowned top scorer in Serie A last season, breaking George Weah’s record for the most goals scored by an African in the Italian league.

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).

He pipped Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao to clinch the Best Striker in Serie A gong.

Osimhen also helped the Italian club reach the Champions League quarter-finals last season, the best result for the Partenopei in Europe’s elite competition.

He netted five times in six Champions League games last season alongside other individual achievements has earned a spot in the top 10 of this year’s Ballon d’Or.

According to the journalist Giuseppe Pastore, “this is the best result ever for a Napoli player, given that the previous record belonged to Ruud Krol, who ended 15th in 1980.”

Osimhen’s teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia finished 17th, while Inter Milan stars Lautaro Martinez and Nicolò Barella finished 20th and 27th respectively.

For his country Nigeria, Osimhen was instrumental in the Super Eagles sealing a ticket for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), scoring 10 goals to finish as the top scorer during the qualifying round while also helping to secure a spot for the Super Eagles at next year’s continental showpiece event in Ivory Coast.

Victor Osimhen is joined in the top 10 by Julian Alvarez, Kevin de Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, Luka Modric, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Vini Jr., and Lionel Messi, finishing ahead of the likes of Karim Benzema, Jude Bellingham, Robert Lewandowski and Mo Salah in the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings.

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