Victor Osimhen, Calvin Bassey, former Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr and Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala are in a long list of nominees for the 2021 The Ballers Awards.
The nominees for this year’s awards, which is the fourth edition, were unveiled by the organisers on Friday, 21 May, in Ikeja, Lagos.
Sixteen categories will be contested for in this year’s edition of The Ballers Awards 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 the male category, Osimhen is shortlisted alongside Paul Onuachu, Joe Aribo, and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Napoli star will also battle it out with Anthony Nwakaeme, Onuachu, Iheanacho and Sadiq Umar in the Forward of the Year category.
Bassey, who has been one of the best players 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 category has Rohr, Kennedy Boboye, Fatai Osho, and Diepreye Telbowei while Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Uchenna Kanu and Christy Ucheibe are listed for the Baller of the Year in the female category.
The Fans’ Favourite award category has Osimhen, Oshoala, Iheanacho, Ola Aina, Maduka Okoye, Aribo and Ahmed Musa.
Also, in the Humanitarian of the Year award category, Oshoala, William Troost-Ekong, Ighalo and Musa are in the running.
And for the Super Eagles Goal of the Year category, the nominees are Iheanacho, Onuachu, Osimhen and Balogun.
In a chat with Completesports.com, founder of Naijafootballers organizers of The Ballers Awards, 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,” Salu said.
“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
FANS FAVOURITE BALLER
GOAL KEEPER OF THE YEAR
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
WILLIAM TROOST EKONG
MIDFIELDER OF THE YEAR
FORWARD OF THE YEAR
BALLER OF THE YEAR – MALE
BALLER OF THE YEAR – FEMALE
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR
WILLIAM TROOST EKONG
MOST PROMISING BALLER
ADEWALE QUADRI OLUWATOBI
AFOLABI KEHINDE TIMOTHY
COACH OF THE YEAR
SUPER EAGLES GOAL OF THE YEAR
KELECH IHEANACHO VS LIBERIA
PAUL ONUACHU VS LESOTHO
VICTOR OSIMHEN VS LESOTHO
LEON BALOGUN VS C.A.R
BEST LOCAL BASED PLAYER
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