Croatia captain Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or in Paris after gathering the most points from the journalists who participated in the vote.
Since 1995, players born outside Europe were allowed to be nominated for the prestigious accolade but no Nigerian player has managed to win the award.
In total, six retired Nigeria internationals have been nominated for the Ballon d’Or : Finidi George, Daniel Amokachi, Austin Okocha, Victor Ikpeba, Nwankwo Kanu and Sunday Oliseh.
Former Ajax Amsterdam winger Finidi George was the first Nigerian player to be recognized when he finished joint 21st in the 1995 Ballon d’Or with six points.
Amokachi and Okocha were among 16 players nominated in 1995 but received no votes.
In the 1997 edition, ex-Monaco striker Victor Ikpeba finished in 32nd place with 2 points, an award won by the great Ronaldo of Brazil.
Before then, Kanu ranked 11th in the Ballon d’Or with 14 points in 1996 and was the top African player on the list ahead of George Weah. Okocha was nominated but received no votes for the second successive year.
At 20 years, the former Gunners number 25 is the youngest ever Nigerian to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
Sunday Oliseh and Kanu were nominated for the 1998 and 1999 Ballon d’Or awards but did not finish in the top twenty.