Nigerian teenage star Samuel Chukwueze has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or in the near future, according to his mentor Prince Victor Apugo.
Chukwueze was among the 10-strong shortlist for the Kopa Trophee, which is Ballon d’Or award for the best performing player under the age of 21.
The shortlist for the Kopa Trophee was made alongside the list of nominees for France Football’s other prestigious award: the Ballon d’Or.
The winger is the only African shortlisted alongside other top players like Vinicius Jr, Matthijs DeLigt, Jordan Sancho, Joao Felix among other young talented players for the prestigious award.
Apugo believes this is an indication that the Villarreal forward is on the right track for a future Ballon d’Or nomination.
“Chukwueze is going to be a great player. He already is a good player, I think he’s going to be a great player,” Apugo began.
“No African has won the Ballon d’Or since George Weah in 1995, but Sammy (Chukwueze) has the potential to not only get nominated but to actually win it. However, he has to remain humble, focused and purposeful,” the Super Stars President concluded.
This is the second edition of the award and Chukwueze will look to become the second player to win it after Kylian Mbappe won the maiden edition last year.
The 20-year-old has caught the eye at Villarreal since he broke out last season. He finished his debut season in the top flight with eight goals in all competition and has been the subject of transfer speculations from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.