Nigeria’s Super Falcons striker, Asisat Lamina Oshoala has bagged a nomination for the 2022 Ballon d’Or Female Player of the Year Award. This is not only a win for Nigeria, but also for Africa as Oshoala is the first African woman to attain such a feat.
The nominees in all categories of the prestigious award were announced by the organizers, French news magazine France Football on Friday.
Oshoala’s nomination comes after she led an impressive season with Barcelona Femeni – the winner – at the Primera División de la Liga de Fútbol Femenino in Spain.
Oshoala scored 20 goals in just 19 games, becoming the first African player to win the Pichichi Trophy as the league’s top scorer of the season.
This was even more impressive considering Oshoala’s game time was cut short by three months last season due to an injury. Notwithstanding, the 27-year-old did not fail to deliver a record-breaking performance when she could play.
Oshoala’s remarkable achievements at Barcelona Femeni have landed her a spot on the list of 20 Ballon d’Or nominees which include Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Selma Bacha (Lyon), Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona), Vivianna Miedema (Arsenal), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Christiane Endler (Lyon), Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg), Kadidatou Diani (PSG), Catarina Macario (Lyon), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg), Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave) and Beth Mead (Arsenal).
The women’s category of the award was only created in 2018, the year which saw Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg win the award. US player Megan Rapinoe won the honours in 2019, while the subsequent year’s ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic. Oshoala’s teammate, Alexias Putellas took home the award last year.
The 66th annual Ballon d’Or Ceremony will take place on the 17th of October at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France
After winning the Pichichi Trophy, Oshoala went on to play with her national team at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco. However, injury once again limited her game time. She was unable to compete beyond her team’s first tie with South Africa’s Banyana Banyana – who were eventually crowned champions of Africa.
Super Falcons, on the other hand, finished fourth place but were able to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which is slated to take place in New Zealand and Australia.
Asisat Oshoala has a history of breaking and making records. The former Super Falcons captain is a five-time winner of the CAF female African Player of the Year Award. She won the title in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, and again last month, setting the record for the player with the most wins in the women’s category.
The previous record holder was fellow countrywoman, Perpetua Nkwocha who won the award four times.