The Ballon d’Or by the French magazine France Football is the most prestigious individual prize in world football, awarded to the best player in Europe since 1956. Initially, only European contestants could win the trophy, but in 1995, the rules were changed, and it began to be given to the best footballers in the European championships, regardless of citizenship. Since 2007, the Ballon d’Or was granted to the best player in the world, and in 2022, France Football changed the rules to award the prize at the end of the season.
The first non-European Ballon d’Or winner was legendary Liberian AC Milan forward George Weah. In the 2022/23 season, nominations were given to great African footballers – Andre Onana and Victor Osimhen. Football betting company 1xBet recalls the players’ achievements and evaluates their prospects in the new season.
Field play and natural flexibility
Onana has long been considered a reliable goalkeeper and, for many years, defended the goal of Ajax Amsterdam, where he reached the Champions League semi-finals. Andre finally revealed his star potential in Inter Milan, where he moved as a free agent before the 2022/2023 season.
The Cameroonian goalkeeper has quickly become a favorite among Inter fans thanks to his superb saves and excellent footwork. He often acted as a field player, pushing the ball almost to the pitch center and making accurate passes to his forwards.
Onana perfectly combines spectacular field play with direct responsibilities. Largely thanks to the goalkeeper’s confidence, Inter Milan last season reached the Champions League final for the first time in 13 years and won the Coppa Italia.
In the summer, the 27-year-old goalkeeper changed clubs again: Manchester United offered 43 million pounds for the player, and Inter management could not refuse – the Milan club’s debts are still huge. In addition, Erik ten Hag knew Andre very well from Ajax and really wanted to see him in the team.
Champion and European top clubs’ main target
Another Ballon d’Or contender, Victor Osimhen, also had a brilliant season in Serie A, with his 26 goals leading Napoli to become Italian champions for the first time since 1990. Victor also made his mark in Europe: his 5 goals helped the Italian club reach the Champions League quarterfinals.
The footballer, who the Neapolitans bought for a record 70 million euros from the French Lille in the summer 2020, has always been a striker with great potential. However, numerous injuries prevented Osimhen from fully demonstrating his skills for a long time. Last season, his health did not fail him, and now Victor is rightfully believed to be one of the best forwards worldwide.
Osimhen is a fast and technical striker with a well-placed shot and header ability. The Nigerian is good at playing along and is always ready to pass if his partner is in a more advantageous position. Victor has already broken Samuel Eto’o’s record for goals in a season in Serie A and George Weah’s record for total goals in the Italian league while being only 25 years old and still having many years of his career ahead. European giants are lining up for the striker, and the exit clause is rumoured to be about €150 million.
Soon, we will find out the places the Nigerian and Cameroonian will take based on the Ballon d’Or voting results. In the meantime, we invite you to join the football betting company 1xBet to follow your favorite players, learn the latest news, and earn money thanks to your football knowledge!
Zambia Consolidates Top Spot At Africa Netball Cup
ZAMBIA has consolidated their place at the top of the table in the Africa Netball Cup after beating hosts Botswana 53-43 in their third game of the tournament.
The win was Zambia’s third straight victory having already seen off eSwatini and Namibia.
The team now has six points, two better than second placed Zimbabwe.
Zambia remains on course to qualify for the final play-off after the group stage is done.
The tournament is made up of six teams, playing each other in a round robin format. After the group stage, the top two teams will play in a final to determine the champions.
Zambia’s next opponent is Zimbabwe in what has been dubbed as the battle of the Zambezi.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 2nd December, 2023)
‘We are prepared to get three points,’ Forest coach Mwenya Chipepo eyes win against Power Dynamos
FOREST Rangers coach Mwenya Chipepo has said his side is prepared to collect three points against former employers Power Dynamos when the two teams meet at the weekend.
Chipepo who recently joined Forest from Power finds himself facing his former bosses, although it is unclear if he will sit on the bench as his clearance has not yet been issued.
Last week, Chipepo sat in the stands for what would have been his first game for Forest Rangers when they played to a 1 – all draw against Konkola Blades in Chililabomwe.
Looking to this weekend’s encounter, Chipepo has said his charges are prepared.
“We are going to play Power Dynamos,” Chipepo said, “they have good players at the moment they are playing very well but if I look at the way we have prepared here, we are prepared to get three points against Power Dynamos.”
Power and Forest are separated by six points. The Kitwe side sits sixth with 21 points.
Chipepo who guided Power to the title last season said he has a fairly good understanding of how his former side plays.
“I know the way they play, I know the type of players who are there and we have planned very well for them,” he said.
On the emotion of playing his former team, Chipepo said, “I just have to control myself they are still my family and I have come to make another family here so it is just a matter of playing a game and make ourselves happy.”
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)
Chipolopolo’s global rating drops
CHIPOLOPOLO have dropped three places on the latest FIFA World ranking, moving from 81st to 84th in the World.
Every month, world football governing body FIFA publishes an updated ranking taking into account FIFA-recognised games that have been played during the course of the previous month.
Zambia’s loss to lowly rated Niger last month could have been the reason the team has dropped three places on the world ladder.
Last month, Zambia beat Congo Brazzaville 4-2 in the FIFA World Cup qualifier at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium before going on to lose 2-1 to Niger.
The team has also dropped on the African continent, moving from 17th to 18th while Morocco has maintained its place at the top.
Meanwhile, 2022 FIFA World Cup winners Argentina who have topped the global list since April have maintained their place at the summit.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)