Ballon d’or: Oshoala misses out on final list

Ballon d’or: Oshoala misses out on final list


Ebenezer Bajela

Super Falcons and Barcelona striker, Asisat Oshoala, missed out on the prestigious Ballon d’Or award after UEFA announced Beth Mead, Lena Oberdorf and Alexia Putellas as the final three contenders in the running for the 2022 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year accolade.

Last week Oshoala was named in a 20-woman list of nominees for the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or, making her the first-ever African woman to achieve the feat.

The Barcelona Femini woman’s nomination comes after she was named the CAF Women’s Player of The Year for a record fifth time last month, surpassing fellow countrywoman Perpetua Nkwocha’s four awards.

The Lagos-born is the only African, male or female, to win the award such a number of times.

Last season, Oshoala was at her very best, despite her playing time being blighted by injuries. On the occasions she played, she was always on with her scoring boots, firing Barca to the domestic league title.

Despite missing about seven weeks due to injury last season, Super Falcons star forward finished as the Spanish topflight league’s top scorer with Barcelona Femeni, netting 20 goals in 19 games, tied with Madrid CFF’s Geyse Ferreira.

The feat earned her the Pichichi, again the first time an African woman would be winning the award.

Though Barca fell to perennial rivals Lyon in the Women’s Champions League final, it was a success for the year Nigerian striker, who first burst onto the scene in 2014, leading Nigeria’s women’s U-20 side to the final of the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada against Germany.

However, the Falcons striker did not make the final list which was whittled down to just three names ahead of next week’s award ceremony in Istanbul.

Arsenal attacker Mead is rewarded for an impressive showing at the Women’s Euros, where she was crowned Player of the Tournament after leading the scoring charts in England’s triumph on home soil.

Oberdorf won the Young Player of the Tournament award after helping Germany to another final, having also played a crucial role in Wolfsburg winning the domestic double last season.

Spain star Putellas was absent from the tournament through injury, but the 2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin winner enjoyed the most prolific season of her club career thanks to 34 goals in Barcelona’s clean sweep of Spanish trophies in 2021-22.