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Nigerian National Team: Why Osimhen Deserves to be African Best

Nigeria has experienced the rise of very talented players. However, only a few of them have won the prestigious African Men’s Player award. Victor Osimhen is currently one of the most talented players in the Nigerian National team and a contender in this year’s African Men Player Award.

The Napoli forward has gathered quite an audience. He is currently regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. 

Brief History of Osimhen’s Career so far:

Victor Osimhen’s meteoric rise from Nigeria to Europe is a story worth telling. His football journey began in the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. He was soon discovered by local scouts and found his way to the Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos. Osimhen entered the spotlight after the 2017 U-17 World Cup where he led Nigeria to victory. Bagging the Golden Boot and Silver Ball in the process.

Several European teams showed interest in him. He finally signed for Wolfsburg. Osimhen had a rough start to life in Wolfsburg. And was loaned to Belgium Side Sporting Charleroi where he scored 20 goals and provided 4 assists in 36 games before joining them permanently in May 2019. Osimhen signed for the French Giants, Losc Lile in August 2019. The 24-year-old Nigerian forward had a fantastic spell at Lile scoring 13 goals in 27 Appearances.

Osimhen moved to Napoli in the summer of 2020 for a club-record fee of €50 million plus add-ons. So far, he has scored 53 goals in 87 Appearances.

Why Osimhen deserves to be African Best.

Osimhen was currently ranked 8th best player in the recently conducted Ballon d’Or. This is the highest rating by any Nigerian in the award and Osimhen is the highest rated African footballer for the 2022/2023 season. Although Kanu Nwankwo finished sixth at the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996, there was no merger then, even though it lasted for just five years (2010-2015). 

Kanu finished 11th in the Ballon d’Or ranking in 1996. That was the highest finish by a Nigerian until Osimhen’s eighth-place finish. 

Osimhen’s ability to find the back of the net is not just limited to club football. He has been equally prolific for the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles. His performances for Nigeria have been crucial in their quest to regain their status as one of Africa’s top footballing nations. Osimhen’s goals and all-around play have helped Nigeria secure vital victories in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers and other international competitions.

Beyond just scoring goals, Osimhen possesses a well-rounded skill set. His speed, agility, and ability to hold up play make him a complete forward. He can create opportunities for himself and his teammates, which is a quality often sought after in modern football. His ability to adapt to different playing styles and systems further highlights his versatility and football intelligence.

Nigerian National Team
Image credit: Football London

A key factor in Osimhen’s case for Africa’s best player is his potential. He is a relatively young player, with many years of top-level football ahead of him. This bodes well for both his club, Napoli, and the Nigerian national team. His continued development and improvement are exciting prospects for football fans, and it’s not unreasonable to expect that he will only get better with time.

Off the pitch, Osimhen also represents the values many admire in a footballer. He has a humble and determined personality, which has endeared him to fans and coaches alike. His journey from the streets of Lagos to the stadiums of Europe serves as an inspiration to aspiring young footballers in Nigeria and across Africa. Osimhen has spoken about the challenges he faced growing up and how he overcame them through hard work and dedication.

In addition to his personal qualities, Osimhen’s impact on his community and country cannot be understated. He has been involved in various charitable activities and initiatives to support underprivileged children in Nigeria. This shows his commitment to giving back and using his success to make a positive difference.

Victor Osimhen at Serie A

Victor Osimhen’s performances in Italy’s Serie A with Napoli have been nothing short of outstanding. The Serie A is known for its tactical and defensive style of play, yet Osimhen has managed to excel. His pace and ability to exploit space have made him a threat to even the most organized defenses. He has become a crucial part of Napoli’s attack and has contributed significantly to their success in domestic and European competitions.

It’s also important to note that Osimhen’s influence extends beyond the football pitch. As an African player playing in one of Europe’s top leagues, he represents the aspirations of many young talents on the continent. His presence in Serie A is a symbol of the increasing recognition and respect for African footballers. His success paved the way for more African talent to find opportunities in Europe and other top leagues.

Osimhen’s impact in Serie A was particularly evident during the 2020-2021 season. Despite facing injury setbacks, he managed to score crucial goals for Napoli in Serie A and the UEFA Europa League. His performances earned him the admiration of Napoli’s fans and established him as one of the league’s most exciting prospects.

Following a blistering season where he guided Napoli to their first-ever Serie A trophy in thirty-three years, Victor Osimhen has been awarded the Striker of the Year award for the 2022/2023 season.

Nigerian National Team

The Super Eagles international who has attracted the interest of top European clubs so far has scored twenty-five (25) goals and made four (4) assists which definitely sets him up for the Golden Boot award ahead of the final game of the season against Sampdoria has been the spine of Luciano’s Spalletti side conquering run in the league.

He is currently being nominated for Balon d’Or and Fifa Men’s Footballer of the Year which is a great feat for him, Nigeria, and Africa at large.

In terms of team success, Osimhen has the potential to lead Nigeria to glory on the international stage. Nigeria’s last African Cup of Nations triumph was in 2013, and Osimhen could be the talisman to guide them to victory once again. With his goalscoring ability and experience in top European leagues, he is a vital asset for the Super Eagles. If Nigeria can achieve success in the African Cup of Nations or even make a strong impression in the FIFA World Cup, Osimhen’s contribution will be undeniable.

In conclusion, Victor Osimhen’s journey from the streets of Lagos to the elite European leagues, his remarkable scoring ability, versatility, and potential, as well as his positive impact off the field, all make a compelling case for his consideration as Africa’s best player. While the competition is fierce, Osimhen’s rise to prominence and his continuous improvement suggest that he is a player who deserves recognition on the highest level. His story is an inspiration to young footballers across the continent. His potential to achieve even greater success makes him a prime candidate for Africa’s best player.

Erhazele Marvellous Azi

Erhazele Marvellous Azi is a final year medical student, a dedicated health enthusiast, and a prolific sport writer. With a passion for both medicine and the written word, Erhazele has seamlessly blended his academic pursuits and his love for sports and health into a unique and inspiring journey. Born and raised in a small town, Erhazele's early fascination with medicine and the human body led him to pursue a career in the field. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and strong work ethic enabled him to excel in his studies, and he is currently in the final year of medical school, on the cusp of realizing his dream of becoming a doctor. Beyond his medical studies, Erhazele has carved out a niche for himself as a health and sport writer. His writing is characterized by its blend of scientific expertise and a deep appreciation for the world of sports. He has a knack for translating complex medical concepts into accessible and engaging articles, helping readers understand the connections between their health and their favorite sports. Erhazele's articles cover a wide range of topics, from injury prevention in sports to the science behind athletic performance. His work has not only informed and educated but has also inspired many to lead healthier, more active lives. As he approaches graduation, Erhazele Marvellous Azi is poised to embark on a journey that merges his medical expertise with his passion for writing. Whether in the clinic or through his articles, he is committed to making a positive impact on the world by promoting health, wellness, and the love of sports. His dedication, knowledge, and creativity mark him as a rising star in the field of medicine and sportswriting, and he is sure to continue leaving a lasting legacy in both domains.