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Nigeria’s star striker Victor Osimhen out of World Cup qualifiers

Victor Osimhen out of qualifiers. African footballers. Napoli striker Victor Osimhen will miss Nigeria’s upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers after getting injured at the end of the 2023-24 Serie A season.

Osimhen, Napoli’s top scorer, played in the team’s final league game, a 0-0 draw with Lecce, coming on as a substitute in the second half. He had missed the previous match, a 2-2 draw with Fiorentina, due to muscle fatigue.

The Nigeria Super Eagles confirmed on Tuesday that Osimhen is injured, though they didn’t specify the details. He is expected to be out for four weeks, ruling him out of the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin on June 7 and 10.
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In his absence, Enugu Rangers defender Kenneth Igboke has been called up. However, the Nigeria squad will still have two Serie A players: Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman, who scored a hat-trick in the Europa League, and Milan forward Samuel Chukwueze.

More about Victor Osimhen

Victor James Osimhen (born 29 December 1998) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team. Known for his finishing, pace, strength, and athleticism, he is regarded as one of the world’s best forwards.
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Osimhen began his senior career with VfL Wolfsburg in 2017, then moved to Charleroi on loan for the 2018–19 season, and later to Lille, where he scored 18 goals in one season. In 2020, he transferred to Napoli for a club-record €70 million. He won the Serie A Best Young Player award in 2021–22 and became the league’s top scorer with 26 goals in 2022–23 He lead Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years. He is the highest-scoring African player in Serie A history.

Internationally, Osimhen won the Golden Boot at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and debuted for the senior Nigeria team in 2017. He played in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and 2023 and is the joint-third highest goalscorer for Nigeria. In 2023, he finished eighth in the Ballon d’Or and was named African Footballer of the Year, the first Nigerian to win since 1999.