The rise of Victor Osimhen

Published: July 09, 2024
The rise of Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen is one of the hottest strikers in world football right now. He was named Serie A Footballer of the Year and won the Capocannoniere in 2023 for finishing as the top scorer in the Italian Serie A that season.

But how did he get here? Let’s look at the rise of Victor Osimhen.

Victor was born in Lagos, Nigeria into a really poor family and was the youngest of seven children, so things were always very difficult. He started out his career at Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos, but where things really kicked off for him was the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015.

He helped Nigeria win the trophy while also winning the Golden Boot and the Silver Ball. His performances at the tournament made him a target for many clubs, and according to Osimhen himself, Arsene Wenger called him and tried to get him to move to Arsenal, but he chose Wolfsburg so he could get more playing time.

But that didn’t exactly work as he hoped it would. Due to injuries and a couple other factors, Osimhen didn’t make as many appearances as he hoped, so he was loaned out to Charleroi.

There, he really blew up, scoring 20 goals in 36 appearances. That was enough to convince the club to sign him on a permanent basis.

But shortly after, Lille paid 15 million euros for him, and there, he hit the ground running. He scored a brace on his debut and another brace in his third game, and was eventually named Ligue 1 Player of the Month.

He finished that season with 18 goals and was named Lille Player of the Season.

All that was enough for Napoli to splash a club record 70 million euros to sign him in 2020 and make him the most expensive African footballer of all time.

But his first season in Italy was marred by injuries. He broke his shoulder and contracted the COVID-19 virus which affected his game time.

The following season, during a Serie A game against Inter Milan, Osimhen clashed with Inter’s Milan Škriniar and fractured his skull and eye socket. For that, he had to undergo surgery which caused him to miss the 2019 AFCON, and since then, he has had to wear a protective mask each time he steps on the pitch. According to the doctors, he’ll have to wear that until his career is over.

With his new accessory, Osimhen turned into a different beast, helping Napoli win the Scudetto for the first time in over 3 decades, and becoming the highest-scoring African in Serie A history and the first African to win the Capocannoniere.

He would then go on to help Nigeria reach the final of the 2023 AFCON final not long after he was named African Player of the Year for 2023. 

Now, he is one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe, and is reportedly wanted by Arsenal, Chelsea, PSG, and a couple other huge clubs. Considering his release clause is 130 million euros, Osimhen will likely soon be one of the top 5 most expensive players in football history.

From growing up in a poor background in Lagos, Nigeria, to becoming one of the most expensive players in the world! What an incredible story!

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