Osimhen makes final 12-man shortlist, Oshoala out

Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, made the final 12-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of The Year award.

The list, which was released by the world football body on Thursday, had the Napoli forward as the only African still in the race for the most coveted football individual prize, after his compatriot, Asisat Oshola, failed to make the final shortlist for the women’s category of the prestigious awards.

The qualifying period for the prize is between December 19, 2022 and August 10, 2023, with nominees including Argentina captain Lionel Messi, Frenchman Kylian Mbappe and Norwegian Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

Within this period, Osimhen scored 29 goals while helping Napoli to win the Serie A title for the first time in over three decades. He also emerged as last season’s Serie A top scorer and was named in the league’s Team of The Season.

Other players on the shortlist are Kevin De Bruyne, Julian Alvarez, Marcelo Brozovic, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodrigo Cascante, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Declan Rice and Bernado Silva.


Meanwhile, other players shortlisted by FIFA for the award in the women’s category are Oshoala’s Barcelona Femini teammates, Jennifer Hermoso and Aitana Bonmati.

Others are Linda Caicedo, Rachel Daly, Kadidiatou Diani, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Alex Greenwood, , Lindsey Horan, Amanda Ilestedt, Lauren James, Sam Kerr, Mapi León, Hinata Miyazawa, Salma Paralluelo and Keira Walsh.

Also, African goalkeepers Andre Onana and Yassine Bounou from Cameroon and Morocco respectively made the final five-man list for The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award.

Bounou won the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League with Sevilla and was named in the competition’s Team of The Season, while Onana won the 2022 Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia with Inter Milan.

Other contenders for the keeper’s award are Thibaut Courtois, Ederson Santana de Moraes and Marc-André ter Stegen.