By Victoria Onehi
As the world relishes in the success of the crowned Africa footballer of the year Victor Osimhen,the Nigerian Striker has taken time to tell his story from being an hawker to becoming Africa’s football King.
In an extended message posted on his X account on Tuesday,the Napoli striker reflected on how he started as a hawker on the streets of Olusosun in Lagos to becoming a global icon in football.
On Monday,11 December 2023, Africa and the world stood still as Victor Osimhen the Napoli striker beat Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah to the star prize as the CAF 2023 African Player of The Year. The awards ceremony held in Marrakech,Morroco.
Osimhen penned a gratifying message to celebrate his top prize and told his inspiring story to stardom.
“My football journey has been a rollercoaster of highs, tough lows and emotions. The goals, echoes and jubilation of victories keep me going even when the critics, hate and pain of defeats hit me hard in the chest. The support of my amazing family, my fans most especially my Nigerian supporters and the love for the beautiful game of football motivates me to aim higher daily.”
He added, “Losing my dear parents in the course of this journey leaves a scar in my heart as they have always been my major driving force for success since I was a kid, may their souls continue to rest in peace.
To my wonderful family thanks for always having my back and loving me so much. I wouldn’t have made it this far without your esteemed support.
To my fans and Nigerian supporters, your dedication in supporting me on the good days and bad days do not go unnoticed, even amidst the arrows of hatred thrown at me y’all still stood by my side. I am grateful.
“Winning the CAF Best African Player 2023 is a testament to my hard work, your love and support. I am so proud of myself for achieving this prestigious award.
“Thank you CAF, to all the coaches I have played under both local and international, your wisdom and knowledge have played huge roles in guiding my footballing career, thank you so much.
“I am sure my parents in heaven are smiling at me, this is for you.
“I also congratulate Chiamaka Nnadozie and Asisat Oshoala for their prestigious awards. Dreams do come true! Thank you, everyone, GOD is the greatest.”Osimhen wrote on his X handle.
Victor James Osimhen MFR (born 29 December 1998) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team. Considered one of the best strikers in the world, as well as one of the best players in the world, he is known for his elite finishing, pace, strength and athleticism.
Born in Nigeria, Osimhen began his senior career in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. Following a season and a half at the club, he moved to Belgian side Charleroi on loan in 2018–19, before moving to France at Lille. He made his European football debut with the French club during the 2919-29 UEFA Champions League.
In 2020, Osimhen transferred to Serie A club Napoli for a club-record fee of €70 million. He won the Serie A Best Young Player award in the 2021–22 season and, in the following season, helped the club win their first Serie A title in 33 years. He is the highest goalscoring African in the Serie A and currently holds the record for the most goals scored by an African in a single season.
Osimhen won the Golden Boot award at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Nigeria won. He made his senior international debut in June 2017 and played at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.He is currently the fourth all-time highest goal scorer of the Nigeria national team.On 29 May 2023, Osimhen was made a Member of the Federal Republic by President Muhammadu Buhari
On the 11 December 2023, Osimhen was awarded the Best male Player of the year in Africa at the 2023 CAF award night, the first Nigerian since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999, 24 years earlier.
He was ranked number 8 in the 2023 Ballon d’Or award which was held in Paris, France and became the first Nigerian to make the top ten of the Ballon d’Or.On the 11th of December, 2023, Osimhen was awarded the Best male Player of the year in Africa at the 2023 CAF award night, the first Nigerian since Kanu Nwankwo in 1999.
Additional information from Wikipedia