Victor Osimhen, Calvin Bassey, former Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr and Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala are among a long list of nominees for the 2021 The Ballers Awards.
The nominees for this year’s awards, which is the fourth edition, was unveiled on Friday, 21 May, at Ikeja, Lagos by the organizers.
Sixteen categories will be contested for in this year’s edition tentatively fixed for June 12.
The categories are Revelation of the Year, Fans Favourite Baller, Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Midfielder of the Year, Forward of the Year, Baller of the Year (Male) and Baller of the Year (Female).
Others are Humanitarian of the Year, Most Promising Baller, Coach of the Year, Super Eagles Goal of the Year, Best Local Based Player, Best TV/VLOG, Best Print/Online and Best Sports Photography.
In the Baller of the Year for male, Osimhen will slug it out with Paul Onuachu, Joe Aribo, and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Napoli star will also battle it out with the likes of Anthony Nwakaeme, Onuachu Iheanacho and Sadiq Umar in the Forward of the Year category.
Bassey, who has been one of the best player for Scottish giants Rangers, is in the Revelation of the Year category alongside Anayo Iwuala, Super Falcons player Monday Gift, Raphael Onyedika and Abraham Marcus.
The Coach of the Year will be contested by Rohr, Kennedy Boboye, Fatai Osho, and Diepreye Telbowei while Oshoala, Radheedat Ajibade, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Uchenna Kanu and Christy Ucheibe are listed for the Baller of the Year for female.
The Fans Favourite award has Osimhen, Oshoala, Iheanacho, Ola Aina, Maduka Okoye, Aribo and Ahmed Musa.
Also, the Humanitarian of the Year award will be contested by Oshoala, William Troost-Ekong, Ighalo and Musa.
And for the Super Eagles Goal of the Year category, the contestants are Iheanacho, Onuachu, Osimhen and Balogun.
In a chat with Completesports.com, founder of Naijafootballers organizers of the Ballers Award, Gbenga Salu, stated that this year’s edition is going to be bigger and better than previous ones.
“We are in for the biggest football award show in Nigeria. We are bringing some innovations, we are expanding it to more categories, the event itself is going to be bigger, publicity is going to be much more bigger.
“We are talking in collaboration with some foreign media as well to make sure that even the players that are nominated they get joy out of being nominated by their clubs, media outlets and all that. So I think people should just expect the biggest award show in the Nigeria.
“Dignitaries, people that matter in the sport industry, former Nigeria internationals, people outside sport are expected to grace this year’s edition.”
Salu added:“The beauty about this is that a lot of the hype the players get from being nominated are not even from home but from abroad. For instance when Wilfred Ndidi won the Baller Award in the second edition in 2019, the Leicester City official handle celebrated it on their Instagram official page.
“Last year Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo were nominated and all over Scotland it was big news there. Anytime this happens they pick it up and when the nominees are out you will see it in foreign media so it is beyond Nigeria. Italy was agog was Osimhen won the Ballers award for male last year, Napoli fans were celebrating his victory.”
The Ballers Awards is an annual event that honour and appreciate the exemplary achievements of Nigerian footballers for their exploits in the preceding year.
This year’s edition is expected to be viewed by over 500,000 people on major TV stations across Nigeria.
THE BALLERS AWARDS NOMINEES FULL LIST
REVELATION OF THE YEAR
ANAYO IWUALACALVIN BASSEYMONDAY GIFTRAPHAEL ONYEDIKAABRAHAM MARCUS
FANS FAVOURITE BALLER
VICTOR OSIMHENASISAT OSHOALAKELECHI IHEANACHOOLA AINAMADUKA OKOYEJOE ARIBOAHMED MUSA
GOAL KEEPER OF THE YEAR
MADUKA OKOYEADEBAYO ADELEYEFRANCSIS UZOHOADEWALE ADEYINKA
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
LEON BALOGUNWILLIAM TROOST EKONGZAIDU SANUSIOLISA NDAH
MIDFIELDER OF THE YEAR
JOE ARIBOWILFRED NDIDIFRANK ONYEKABONKE INNOCENT
FORWARD OF THE YEAR
VICTOR OSIMHENANTHONY NWAKAEMEPAUL ONUACHUKELECHI IHEANACHOSADIQ UMAR
BALLER OF THE YEAR – MALE
PAUL ONUACHUJOE ARIBOVICTOR OSIMHENKELECHI IHEANACHO
BALLER OF THE YEAR – FEMALE
RASHEEDAT AJIBADEASISAT OSHOALACHIAMAKA NNADOZIEUCHENNA KANUCHRISTY UCHEIBE
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR
ASISAT OSHOALAWILLIAM TROOST EKONGODION IGHALOAHMED MUSA
MOST PROMISING BALLER
AFOLABI YUSUFADEWALE QUADRI OLUWATOBIMONDAY GIFTAFOLABI KEHINDE TIMOTHYAJANI WAHEEDIBRAHIM BALA
COACH OF THE YEAR
KENEDY BOBOYEDIEPREYE TELBOWEIFATAI OSHOGERNOT ROHR
SUPER EAGLES GOAL OF THE YEAR
KELECH IHEANACHO VS LIBERIA(SECOND GOAL)PAUL ONUACHU VS LESOTHOVICTOR OSIMHEN VS LESOTHOLEON BALOGUN VS C.A.R
BEST LOCAL BASED PLAYER
SILAS NWANKWOOLISA NDAHANAYO IWUALACHARLES ATSHIMENEADELEKE ADEKUNLE
JIMMIE AKINSOLA (SUPERSPORTS)BRENDA SHIMA (AIT)HINDSIGHT PODCAST (YOUTUBE)KENNY OGUNMILORO (BCOS TV)
IKENWA NNABUOGOR (SCORE NIGERIA)SHINA OLUDARE (GOAL.COM)OMONIYI FERANMI (PREMIUM TIMES)OJORA BABATUNDE (OJB SPORTS)
BEST SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
AYODELE IBIDAPOVICTOR MODOJUSTINA ANIEFIOKCHRISTOPHER ONAH
By James Agberebi
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