The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) released their 23-man list for the 2023 Men's team of the Year on Wednesday. This list included players like Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and the usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
📋 The full 23-player shortlist for the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s #World11, voted by the players for the players:
— FIFPRO (@FIFPRO) January 3, 2024
However, Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen did not make the shortlist, in spite of his stellar performances for Napoli last year. The 25-year-old was the Serie A's top scorer last season, as the Partenopei clinched their first scudetto in over three decades. Because of this, Osimhen was named Africa's best player in 2023.
As a matter of fact, No African player made the list; and as expected, fans have not hesitated in voicing their opinions on social media.
Even though Ronaldo scored more goals than every other player in the World in 2023 and Messi led the Argentina national team to World Cup victory, some users were not pleased that the Portuguese player was chosen ahead of Osimhen and Liverpool's Mohammed Salah.
No Victor Osimhen African best male footballer of the year, No Salah, No Allison, But you you rushed to Saudi Arabia league..
— Ayo (@Ayo4884) January 3, 2024
No Africans despite oshimen and Salah having brilliant years? But still having Ronaldo and benzema in the retirement league part 2?
— Lewis Bailey #FSGOUT (@ballsy2006) January 3, 2024
What's Messi and Benzema doing in the list ffs
I'm a big fan of Messi tho but I really want to see his stat for 2023 including Benzema too
Osimehn and Salah omission also shows how FIFA often underrate and appreciate African footballers
— Mubarak Oscar🇳🇬🐈⚽ (@OscarMubarak11) January 3, 2024
It's important to point out that voting for the FIFPRO Men's team of the Year is usually done by players; and with that in mind, some fans believes the exclusion of Osimhen and Salah is one of the reasons why players don't always make good pundits.
Why players don't always make good pundits
— foolsrushin (@NPage10) January 3, 2024
Is it just me that find it very strange there's no african players on the list? Salah, Osimhen? The disrespect is real
— HappyLife 🇵🇹 (@50isthenew20) January 3, 2024