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Bukayo, Oshola Osimhen Make Ballon d’Or 2023 Nominations



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The nomination for both the male and female categories of the Ballon d’Or 2023 has been made and three Nigerian bloods made the list, namely Victor Osimhen, Azizat Oshola and Nigerian -England born Bukayo Saka.

Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian forward who plays for Napoli could not escape the list owing to his performance with the club last season.

Osimhen scored 26 Serie A goals last season to guide the Partenopei to the Scudetto for the first time in over three decades.

The Super Eagles forward becomes the second Nigerian to be nominated for the prestigious prize after Nwankwo Kanu. Kanu was norminated in 1999.

England stars Bukayo Saka is also shortlistes for the award. Last Tuesday, Saka was named England men’s player of the year owing to his fine form for Arsenal and the England national team last season. All these were instrumental to his normination on the 30-man list. Through of Nigeria origin, Saka is England citizen and plays for England’s national team.

For the women category of the award, Nigeria’s own Asisat Oshoala was listed among others female footballers . This is the second time for the Super Falcon striker and Barcelona Femeni star. Oshola made history last year as the first African female footballer to have made the list.

Oshola won a historic treble of the Primera Division title, the Supercopa de Espana Femenina, and the Champions League.

The 28 years old scored 21 goals in the domestic league, a feat that afforded her a joint-top scorer in Spain. Her contributions to see Nigeria reach the round of 16 in the last Women world Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand is also instrumental in this normination.

Lionel Messi was not left out in this normination. The Inter Miami striker and Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar last December. It was Argentina’s first triumph since 1986.

Below are the nominations lists for 2023 Ballon d’Or, men’s category.

Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Erling Haaland (Man City)

Bernardo Silva (Man City)

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Rodri (Man City)

Julian Alvarez (Man City)

Ruben Dias (Man City)

Josko Gvardiol (Man City)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Andre Onana (Man United)

Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)

Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Randal Kolo Muani (PSG)

Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich)

Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad)

Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)

Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona)

Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)

Nicola Barella (Inter Milan)

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal)


AFCON’23: Full List of Qualified Countries

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South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana face the big boys



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24 countries have qualified for prestigious continental Africa Cup of Nations holding in Cote D’Ivoire next year. All 24 countries will justle for the golden cup.

The tournament will feature 12 former AFCON champions with Nigeria, a three-time champion not left out.

From the West coast of the continent, we have the hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, current champion Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea and others.

East Africa has Tanzania returning for a second finals after a brave showing in the qualifiers.

From the Northern coast of African, we have seven-time champions Egypt, World Cup semi-finalists Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

The tournament will take place from January 13 to February 11, 2024, after it was postponed from it’s original June, 2023 date.

The full list of 24 qualified countries include:

  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Burkina Faso,
  4. Cameroon
  5. Cape Verde
  6. Cote d’Ivoire (Hosts)
  7. DR Congo.
  8. Egypt
  9. Equatorial Guinea
  10. The Gambia
  11. Ghana
  12. Guinea
  13. Guinea-Bissau
  14. Mali
  15. Mauritania
  16. Morocco
  17. Mozambique
  18. Namibia
  19. Nigeria
  20. Senegal (Title Holders)
  21. South Africa,
  22. Tanzania
  23. Tunisia and
  24. Zambia.

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Spanish FA President Kisses Female Football Player, Faces Probe



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The Spanish government on Wednesday demanded transparency and urgent action from the country’s football federation against president Luis Rubiales over his kiss on the lips of a Women’s World Cup player.The Spanish football federation chief has been heavily criticised for planting a kiss on the lips of Spain player, Jenni Hermoso, following her team’s triumph in the final against England in Sydney on Sunday.

The RFEF on Tuesday called an emergency meeting for Friday and activated an internal investigation into the incident, amid mounting pressure to take action against Rubiales.

“I imagine that what the responsible people will do is talk to the two parties involved and issue a report,” Francos told radio station Cadena Ser.

“I have personally told the federation this report has to be transparent and urgent, because, if it is not, obviously we are obliged to take the corresponding additional measures.”

Rubiales, 46, initially attacked his critics before eventually apologising but the criticism of his behaviour has not abated.Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday that Rubiales’ apology for the kiss was insufficient.


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Victor Osimhen Issues Demand on Napoli, Makes Man Utd Transfer Stance Clear



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Victor Osimhen has been on Manchester United transfer shortlist on their hunt for a. Ew striker after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual consent last November.

The Nigeria international, 24, scored 31 goals for Napoli last season, including 26 in the league. That helped the Italian giants lift their first Serie A title in 33 years and left several top European clubs, such as Manchester United, keen on signing Osimhen.

It’s believed Osimhen is willing to sign a new contract, as Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is refusing to sell him this summer. Yet the striker wants a release clause inserted into his new deal to allow him to fulfil his “dream” of playing in the Premier League.

Osimhen has just two years left on his existing deal and Napoli don’t want to risk losing him on the cheap in a year’s time.

As reported by Sky in Italy, contract talks between Osimhen’s agent Roberto Calenda and De Laurentiis are progressing. Yet the two parties are struggling to agree on the release clause.

That’s because Napoli want his release clause to be set far higher, at £173million (€200m) €200m. That figure would effectively render the clause a moot point as top clubs won’t go near it. The Serie A champions don’t want to lose Osimhen for anything other than a profit, having paid Lille around £70m for his services three years ago.

But Victor Osimhen wants a £103.8million (€120m) release clause inserted into a new Napoli contract.

If Napoli agree to a £103.8m release clause and a Premier League club hits it, then Napoli will have no choice, despite a defiant De Laurentiis, speaking in May after Napoli’s Serie A triumph, declaring: “I will not sell Victor Osimhen this summer, no way!”Yet the player’s “dream” is to play in the Premier League, as he admitted in March. “I think playing in one of the top five leagues in the world is an amazing feeling for me,” the former Wolfsburg striker told Sky Sports.”A lot of people worldwide consider the Premier League as the best and the strongest league, but now I’m in one of the best leagues in the world which is the Italian Serie A.

“I’m working so hard to make sure that I achieve my dream of playing in the Premier League some day, but like I said, it’s a process and I just want to keep on this momentum and continue to do well.”

Chelsea have previously been linked with Osimhen, but it’s Man Utd who are most in need of a striker. Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford last November and was temporarily replaced by Wout Weghorst, but he’s since returned to parent club Burnley.


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