Asisat Oshoala, a striker for the Super Falcons and Barcelona, has been pulled off the finalist list for the coveted Ballon d’Or award by the Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA.
Beth Mead, Lena Oberdorf, and Alexia Putellas have been named as the top three finalists for the 2022 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award by UEFA.
The 20-woman list of nominees for the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or was announced last week, making Oshoala the first African woman to receive the honor.
The Barcelona Femini player was nominated after she beat fellow countrywoman Perpetua Nkwocha’s four awards to win the CAF Women’s Player of the Year title for a record fifth time last month.
The Lagos-born winner is the first African, male or female, to have received the honor so frequently.
Oshoala was at her best last season despite having limited playing time due to injuries. She was consistently on point when she played, propelling Barca to the domestic league championship.
Oshoala was the highest scorer in the Spanish first flight league with Barcelona Femeni past season, scoring 20 goals in 19 games, tying Geyse Ferreira of Madrid CFF, despite missing roughly seven weeks due to injury.
She won the Pichichi for her accomplishments, making history as the first African woman to do so.
It was a successful year for the Nigerian striker, who initially came to prominence in 2014, when she led Nigeria’s women’s U-20 team to the final of the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada against Germany. Despite Barca losing to longtime rivals Lyon in the Women’s Champions League final.
The final list, which was narrowed down to only three names before next week’s award presentation in Istanbul, did not include the Falcons striker, though.
Mead, an attacking midfielder for Arsenal, is honored for a strong performance in the Women’s Euros, when she led the scoring charts in England’s victory on home soil and was named Player of the Tournament.
Oberdorf, who also played a significant part in Wolfsburg winning the domestic double last season, was named the Young Player of the Tournament after leading Germany to another final.
Spain’s standout Putellas missed the competition due to an injury, but the 2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin champion had her most productive club season thanks to 34 goals in Barcelona’s resounding victory over Spain in 2021–2022.
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