Nigeria's Osimhen closes in on scoring title as Napoli win Serie A

Ahram Online , Friday 5 May 2023

The Nigerian Super Eagle Victor Osimhen has led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years and is leading the race for the top scorer award.

Napoli s Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen eyes the bal.  AFP
Napoli s Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen eyes the bal. AFP


"It's a fantastic emotion for me. I can't quantify this feeling because it's really wonderful, We have waited 33 years to bring the Scudetto back to Naples and, at last, we have achieved it. It's a day we won't forget as long as we live. Now I'm just thinking about celebrating with our fans in the stadium," Osimhen said.  

Osimhen has 22 goals so far, three ahead of the nearest player with five matches left. If he maintains his lead, he would be the first African player to win the "Capocannoniere" as Serie A's top scorer in the competition's history.

The Nigerian striker, who joined Napoli in 2020, overcame a childhood in poverty to become a star in Italy. He grew up near Lagos' largest garbage dump and collected discarded soccer boots to play in as a child.

"Sometimes I found an old Adidas for the right foot... and a Reebok for the left. I saw it as a game, but it was pure survival," the 24-year-old said.

Osimhen's rise seemed unlikely but his determination pushed him to success. He overcame medical issues and rejections that thwarted moves to Europe as a teenager. A cheekbone injury last year left him with metal plates in his face, though he has continued to excel.

If Osimhen wins the Capocannoniere, he would join past stars such as Marco van Basten, Andriy Shevchenko and David Trezeguet to win both Serie A's scoring title and league championship in the same season.  

"At the beginning of the season we were not favourites, not many believed in us. But thanks to unity, a great president and a great coach we began to believe we could win the 'Scudetto'," Osimhen said.

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