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Victor Osimhen: When Napoli Gets Another Maradona



By Eric Elezuo
The growing influence of Nigerian-born football icon, Victor Osimhen, who plies his trade with wave-making Serie A side, Napoli, has become a subject of discourse in the football world. And among greats, who know one or two things about the sensational game of football.
Touted to break more records, having shattered a whole lot so far, the face-masked Osimhen has risen from a very humble beginning, and determined to change the face of the good game. raising the bar since his inclusion into the Napoli of Italy lineup in July 2020. Ever since, the 26 years old Nigerian striker has in no small measure resurrected the Maradona magic in the iconic Italian city.
Born Victor James Osimhen on December 29, 1998 to parents of Edo roots, the playmaker is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world today. Before berthing in Napoli, Osimhen had seen soccer actions in different countries and teams, among which is Germany, where he started his senior soccer career, playing for VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. After a season and a half with the club, he moved to Belgian side Charleroi on loan in 2018–19, before moving to France at Lille. In 2020, from where he transferred to Serie A club Napoli for a club-record fee of €70 million. He sent a message to the world when he won the Serie A Best Young Player award in the 2021–22 season.

Earlier, he had won the Golden Boot award at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, straight from his Ultimate Strikers Academy, based in Lagos, which Nigeria won. He made his senior international debut in June 2017 and played at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He is currently the ninth all-time highest goalscorer of the Nigeria national team.

Osimhen earned his full Bundesliga debut on 28 January 2018 against Hannover, playing the full 90 minutes in their 1–0 win. Osimhen made two more starts the rest of the campaign, playing the full match against Werder Bremen on 11 February 

On 22 August 2018, Osimhen joined Belgian club Charleroi on a season-long loan deal. He made his debut on 1 September against Excel Mouscron, entering as a late substitute for Jérémy Perbet. Osimhen made his full debut on 22 September, scoring his first goal as a professional with a backheel against Waasland-Beveren. He also scored twice in the last five minutes in a 3–2 win over Zulte Waregem on 21 October, after Hamdi Harbaoui had given Waregem a 2–1 lead with a second half brace. Osimhen was not dropped from the side until 25 November, when he scored a goal off the bench in the club’s 4–2 win over Lokeren. After the game, Osimhen told BBC Sport that he had “found his happiness again”. Osimhen finished the first half with 8 goals in 16 games, second only to Cristian Benavente in the team.

After a successful spell with the Belgian side, playing 36 games and scoring 20 goals, Charleroi activated their option to acquire Osimhen following his satisfactory performances while on loan.

In July 2019, Osimhen signed for Lille. On August 11, 2019, he made his Ligue 1 debut for the club, scoring a brace in a 2–1 win against Nantes.

Osimhen was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Month for September 2019, having scored two goals and assisted two more in Lille’s five league matches. On 2 June 2020, he was awarded Lille’s Player of the Season, having secured the highest number of votes from fans.

Osimhen scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League on 2 October 2019, coming in a 1–2 home defeat to English side Chelsea. The Nigerian finished the season as Lille’s top scorer, with 13 goals in 25 Ligue 1 matches, and 18 goals across all competitions. His strong goalscoring performances saw Osimhen tipped by many to be in running for the African Footballer of the Year award in the near future.

On July 31, 2020, Serie A club Napoli announced the signing of Osimhen, for a club-record fee of €70 million potentially rising to €80 million with add-ons, making him the most expensive African transfer to date.

On October 17, 2020, Osimhen scored his first goal for Napoli in a 4–1 win against Atalanta. Upon scoring, he held up a shirt calling for the ending of the ongoing police brutality in his home country of Nigeria.

While recovering from the shoulder injury, Osimhen contracted the COVID-19 virus, as he tested positive upon returning to Naples. This positive test, together with his shoulder injury, kept him away from action until his return to the side on January 29, 2021, when he was subbed on for around twenty minutes of Napoli’s Coppa Italia win against Spezia.

On October 29, 2022, he scored his first Serie A hat-trick in a 4–0 win over Sassuolo.

On November 11, 2022, he scored a goal and assisted another to help Napoli win 2–1 at Atalanta, becoming Nigeria’s highest goal scorer in the Italian Serie with 32 goals, and surpassing Simy’s record of 31. On 13 January 2023 Osimhen scored two and assisted another as Napoli beat Juventus 5-1.

On February 17, 2023, he scored his 100th career goal to help Napoli win 2-0 at Sassuolo. He also became the first-ever player in the history of Napoli in the three-point era to score in seven league games in a row.

It is believed that with his exploits so far, he is definitely tipped to win this year’s African Footballer of the Year award provided his club can win Serie A this season. Bookmakers have have permuted as follows:
“1. George Weah was crowned African Footballer of the Year in 1995 without winning AFCON title but his performances across both PSG and Milan in 1995 saw him awarded the Africa football’s most prestigious individual honour.
2. Samuel Eto’o was crowned African Footballer of the Year for 4 times without winning AFCON title in any of those four years (2003, 2004, 2005, 2010).
3. Didier Drogba was crowned African Footballer of the Year Award in 2006 & 2009 without winning the AFCON title with his country in those two Occasions. But he was crowned African Best based on his performance with Chelsea.
4. Yaya Toure was crowned African Footballer of the Year for 4 consecutive years without winning AFCON title in any of those four years (2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) But he was crowned African Best based on his performance with Manchester City.
5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was named 2015 African Football Player of the Year when Ivory Coast won the Afcon tournament. But he was crowned African Best based on his performance with Borussia Dortmund.
Now let’s come back to Victor’s case; If Napoli can win the Serie A for the first time in 30 years and Osimhen ends the season with highest goal scorer in Serie A award, nothing will stop him to be the number one contender for the African Footballer of the Year Award.
You can criticize the above facts and figures, come with your own points and let’s handle it in a matured manner!” – Àlàbí Tolúlọpẹ́ Michael ATM
It is on record that the last time Napoli has had this good was when the hand of God crooner, the indefatigable Diego Amando Maradona, was in the team. Maradona’s exploits while with the team prompted his immortalization as a huge statue of his has been erected at the club’s stadium.

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Again, Messi Wins Ballon d’Or for World’s Best Player




Argentina captain Lionel Messi won a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world on Monday, beating Norway’s UEFA player of the year and treble winner Erling Haaland of Manchester City to the prestigious prize.

Inter Miami’s Messi, who last won the award in 2021, played a pivotal role in guiding Argentina to their first World Cup title in 36 years in Qatar last season.


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Posthumous Birthday: Google Honours Rashidi Yekini with Doodle




Today’s Doodle celebrates Nigerian footballer Rashidi Yekini, who is remembered for being the top goalscorer of the nation and widely considered one of the best Nigerian athletes of all time.


Today’s Doodle celebrates iconic Nigerian footballer Rashidi Yekini, an accomplished forward nicknamed the “Goalsfather” for his ability to sneak shots by the keeper. On this day in 1963, he was born in Kaduna, Nigeria.

The beginning of Yekini’s life was difficult as he faced homelessness and poverty. To make money, his first jobs were a welder and mechanic, but his true goal was to pursue football. He soon began playing in front of scouts and in 1981, he joined his first football club, UNTL FC, in Kaduna.

The talented striker played for the Shooting Stars next, scoring an impressive 45 goals in 53 games. His spectacular scoring abilities earned him the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1983, and he was the first Nigerian player to receive this honor. The next year, he helped bring the Shooting Stars to the finals of the African Champions Cup.

Outside of Nigeria, he also played for football clubs in Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Tunisia, Switzerland, and Greece. While playing for a Portuguese team called Vitória Setúbal, he won the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) for being the league’s top-scoring player in the 1993-94 season.

Yekini helped Nigeria’s national team, nicknamed the Super Eagles, qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Nigeria played Bulgaria on June 21st, and Yekini made it a game to remember. Not only did he score the first goal of the game, but also the first World Cup goal for Nigeria. Overcome with excitement and pride, he ran into the net and clutched it with both arms while cheering and crying tears of joy. Many consider it one of the most iconic goal celebrations in football history and it served as inspiration for today’s Doodle artwork.

He went on to play for the Super Eagles for a little over 14 years, including another shot at the World Cup in 1998. In his 58 games for Nigeria, he scored 37 times, and to this day holds the record for most goals scored for the country.

Happy birthday, Rashidi Yekini!

Source: Google

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Napoli Mock Osimhen for Penalty Miss, Get Knocks




Serie A champions, Napoli, are under serious attack from football followers, who deemed a video posted on the club’s official TikTok handle as mocking Nigeria international Victor Osimhen for missing a penalty on Sunday.

Osimhen, who was the club’s top scorer last season as the Parthenopeans won the Scudetto after three decades, missed the penalty that denied Napoli a chance to win all three points against Bologna on Sunday.

And with just four minutes to the end of the game, the Super Eagles striker was substituted for Giovanni Simeone.

Not happy with the substitution, Osimhen expressed his anger at Napoli coach Rudi Garcia as he walked away to the bench.

Osimhen has since sent his apologies to the coach and his teammates over his action but on Tuesday, the official TikTok of the team, which had posted a video three days ago referring to Osimhen as a coconut head, posted another video trolling the Nigerian for missing the penalty against Bologna.

The action by the club’s social media handle has seen the football faithful from across the world attack the club.

“That video of @sscnapoli trolling @victorosimhen9 over his penalty miss (which I won’t share) is in very poor taste for a player who continually gives 100% for that club. Everyone involved in that decision, from ideation through approval to execution, should be fired, pronto!” Nigerian journalist Collin Udoh wrote.

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