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From Man of the Match to Creating a Legacy: Inside Victor Osimhen’s AFCON 2023 Journey

Nigerian footballer Victor Oshimen
Nigerian footballer Victor Oshimen

Victor Osimhen’s standout performances at AFCON 2023, notably in Nigeria’s clash against Ivory Coast, have been a focal point. Here’s a summary of the records and accomplishments he has established during this tournament:

Becoming the most valuable player

Osimhen’s recent accolades, such as being crowned Serie A’s best player and securing the eighth position in the 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings, position him as a formidable contender for the Most Valuable Player award at AFCON 2023. Securing this accolade would elevate him to the esteemed company of Nigerian players who have accomplished this prestigious feat.
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Man of the match performance

Osimhen earned the title of Man of the Match in Nigeria’s triumphant encounter against Ivory Coast. His influential presence on the field showcased his exceptional skills and dedicated work ethic. Playing a pivotal role in Nigeria’s triumph, he scored the decisive goal that secured their victory. This performance not only underscored his goal-scoring prowess but also emphasized his indispensable role within the Nigerian national team.

Cementing his legacy

Osimhen’s journey from the under-17 World Cup in 2015 to becoming a standout figure at Napoli and clinching the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year, signifies a remarkable ascent in his career. His accomplishments have prompted comparisons with Nigerian football legends, yet Osimhen remains focused on charting his unique path and achieving personal goals. Assuming the leadership role for Nigeria at AFCON, he is well-prepared for the challenge, backed by a proven track record at both the club and international levels.

Victor Osimhen’s performance in AFCON has been nothing short of extraordinary. His ability to set records, combined with his ambition to carve out his own legacy, positions him as a standout player in the tournament and a pivotal asset for the Nigerian national team.
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Who is Victor Osimhen?

Victor James Osimhen, born on December 29, 1998, stands as a beacon of Nigerian football excellence. A distinguished professional striker, he currently graces the Serie A stage with Napoli and proudly represents the Nigeria national team. Renowned globally for his exceptional skills, Osimhen has earned recognition as one of the world’s premier strikers.

Embarking on his senior career in 2017 with Germany’s VfL Wolfsburg, Osimhen’s journey led him to Belgium’s Charleroi on loan in 2018–19 before finding his footing in France with Lille. His European football debut came during the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League. In a historic move in 2020, Napoli secured Osimhen for a club-record fee of €70 million.
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Victor Osimhen earned the title of Best Male Player of the Year in Africa
Victor Osimhen earned the title of Best Male Player of the Year in Africa

Osimhen’s accolades extend to his international feats, having clinched the Golden Boot at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where Nigeria emerged victorious. Making his senior international debut in June 2017, Osimhen showcased his talent at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and currently stands as the fourth all-time highest goalscorer for the Nigeria national team.

His stellar achievements continue with recognition on the global stage. On May 29, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari honored Osimhen, making him a Member of the Federal Republic. Osimhen claimed the title of Best Male Player of the Year in Africa at the CAF award night, marking the first Nigerian since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999—a 24-year milestone.

He secured the 8th spot in the prestigious 2023 Ballon d’Or awards in Paris, becoming the first Nigerian to break into the top ten. The same night, he once again earned the title of Best Male Player of the Year in Africa.