Osimhen has overcome childhood adversity to become a Serie A winner
Victor Osimhen, this season’s Serie A top scorer, lost his mother when he was just six. To make things worse, his father lost his job months later.
This forced Osimhen and his siblings to work as street vendors to make ends meet. They’d sell bottles of water, oranges and newspapers.
“Sometimes, the landlord would come to see my father about rent,” Osimhen has recalled. “I’d go and cry, and pray to God for help.”
His chance to make it in soccer came at Nigeria’s Ultimate Strikers academy. His technique and eye for goal quickly saw him stand out.
Due to his family’s lack of money, Osimhen had to look for soccer cleats in the trash. As a result, he frequently sported a different brand on each foot.
In 2015, he fired Nigeria to victory at the U-17 World Cup, top-scoring at the event. It was the moment he announced himself as a future star.
After playing for Wolfsburg, Charleroi and Lille, he joined Napoli in 2020. He cost €50m, plus €10m in add-ons and two players worth a combined €20m.
In 2021, he fractured his eye socket after an elbow in the face against Inter. He needed six plates and 18 screws to fix the injury, and now wears a protective mask in games.
At just 24, Osimhen has become a key man for the Italian champions and one of the globe’s top strikers. He’s now worth around €100m.
He has overtaken Samuel Eto’o as Serie A’s highest-scoring African in a single season. Osimhen has 23 this term, two more than Eto’o’s record 21.