The Best FIFA Football Awards: Nigerian Legends Mikel, Akide Named in Panel of Experts

The Best FIFA Football Awards: Nigerian Legends Mikel, Akide Named in Panel of Experts

Babajide Orevba
September 15, 2023 at 4:51 PM
  • Mikel Obi has been named among a panel of experts for the 2023 The Best FIFA Awards
  • Former Super Falcons striker Mercy Akide is also included in women's category
  • Nigerian international Victor Osimhen has been nominated for the prestigious prize as voting begins

Nigerian legendary footballers Mikel Obi and Mercy Akide are listed in the panel of experts for the 2023 FIFA Best Football Awards.

Mikel had a remarkable footballing career, making 91 appearances for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, while Akide left indelible footprints in football following her performances for the Super Falcons.

The former midfielder, who won two Premier League titles with English club Chelsea, is among the 11 who shortlisted the men’s category nominees.

Mikel Obi, Mercy Akide, Super Eagles, Super Falcons
Mikel Obi and Mercy Akide are among panel of experts for FIFA The Best Award. Photo: Jon Buckle/Lefty Shivambu
Source: Getty Images

Mercy Akide, who is one of Nigeria’s greatest female footballers of all time, is among the 11 members in the women’s category, according to FIFA.

Panel of Experts

Women’s Panel

  1. Mercy Akide (Nigeria)
  2. Shirley Cruz (Costa Rica)
  3. Amy Duggan (Australia)
  4. Isabella Echeverri (Colombia)
  5. Mia Hamm (USA)
  6. Jessica Houara (France)
  7. Mana lwabuchi Uapan)
  8. Manon Melis (Netherlands)
  9. Patrizia Panico (Italy)
  10. Clementine Toure (Ivory Coast)
  11. Kirsty Yallop (New Zealand)

Men’s Panel

  1. Petr Cech (Czechia)
  2. Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire)
  3. Brett Emerton (Australia)
  4. Rio Ferdinand (England)
  5. Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)
  6. Kaka (Brazil)
  7. Mario Kempes (Argentina)
  8. Alexi Lalas (USA)
  9. John Obi Mikel (Nigeria)
  10. Park Ji-Sung (Korea Republic)
  11. Ivan Vicelich (New Zealand)

Osimhen nominated for The Best FIFA Award

Meanwhile, Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen has been recognised on the global stage once again, having earned a nomination for the prestigious 2023 The Best FIFA Football Award.

This comes after his 26 league goals helped Napoli clinch the Italian Serie A title last season. His ten goals have also helped Nigeria seal their qualification to the 2023 AFCON tournament starting in January.

FIFA blasted for excluding Vinicius Junior

Sports Brief earlier reported that FIFA has come under heavy criticism, being labelled an 'absolute disgrace' for the glaring exclusion of Vinicius Junior from this year's The Best Football Awards nominee list.

The global football governing body, which is responsible for organising the annual awards, unveiled the 12 nominees for the best men's player on September 14.

Among them are the 2022 World Cup winner Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, Manchester City's treble-winning striker Erling Haaland, and Julian Alvarez and Declan Rice.

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