12 Dec Osimhen, Oshoala dominate as Nigeria’s football icons in 2023
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
In the realm of football, where skill converges with tenacity, Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala emerge as the foremost symbols of Nigerian soccer prowess in the year 2023.
Hailing from Lagos, Victor Osimhen’s meteoric rise in the footballing world reached its zenith in 2023. The Napoli striker played a pivotal role for both club and country, leading Napoli to a historic Scudetto title and earning the Serie A Golden Boot. Osimhen’s scoring prowess not only endeared him to Napoli fans but also elevated Nigeria’s standing on the international stage.
Beyond goals, Osimhen’s influence extends to becoming a role model, known as the “masked assassin” wrecking defenses in Europe. His iconic mask became a cultural symbol in Naples, reflecting in social media spikes, massive engagement, and jersey sales.
As for Asisat Oshoala, the Lagos-born forward has been a trailblazer in women’s football, contributing significantly to FC Barcelona Femení’s success. Beyond her on-field achievements, Oshoala stands as an ambassador for women’s football in Nigeria, advocating for gender equality and inspiring young girls.
Oshoala’s accolades, including multiple African Women’s Player of the Year awards, elevated not just her personal acclaim but Nigeria’s standing in global women’s football. Her off-field impact extends to breaking into the list of most-followed Nigerian athletes and launching the Asisat Oshoala Academy.
Both Osimhen and Oshoala recognize the power of their platform and actively use it for positive impact. Osimhen engages in philanthropy, supporting initiatives to improve the lives of underprivileged youth. Oshoala advocates for women’s rights and empowerment, challenging societal norms and earning nominations for her contributions to society.
In 2023, Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala stand as beacons of hope and inspiration for Nigerian football, shaping the present and laying the foundation for a brighter future. The Pulse Sports ranking of the most influential Nigerian footballers in 2023 considers factors like contributions off the field, social media presence, trends, growth, and merchandise sales.