Victor James Osimhen is a veteran footballer of Nigerian origin. He is a central striker for both Napoli, a Serie A club, and the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles.
Early Life & Education
Victor Osimhen was born in Lagos State on December 29, 1998. He is from Edo State, which is located in southern Nigeria. He grew up in Lagos, where he attended primary and secondary school. During his early years, he began playing local area footballs under the tutelage of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.
Osimhen began his professional career at the Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos, Nigeria. After garnering attention for his efforts at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Osimhen signed a pre-contract with VfL Wolfsburg in January 2016. The contract stated that he would join the team in January 2017.
On January 5, 2017, Osimhen formally agreed to a three-and-a-half-year contract with the team that would keep him there until June 2020. Osimhen made his Bundesliga debut for Wolfsburg on May 13 against Borussia Mönchengladbach, coming on as a 59th-minute substitute after being injured upon his arrival. On the final day of the 2016-17 season, Osimhen also appeared in a crucial relegation match against Hamburger SV the following week.
He replaced Sebastian Jung with the score tied at 1-1. Hamburg then scored a late winner to leapfrog Wolfsburg in the standings, forcing Wolfsburg into a survival playoff against Eintracht Braunschweig. Osimhen played in both games and made a brief cameo at the end of the second leg as Wolfsburg’s place in the following Bundesliga was assured by their 2-0 aggregate victory.
On August 22, 2018, Osimhen joined Belgian club Charleroi on a season-long loan after making 16 appearances for Wolfsburg without scoring. He replaced Kaveh Rezaei, who left after scoring three goals in the first three games of the season and was transferred to Club Brugge. Osimhen made his professional debut against Excel Mouscron on September 1st, coming on as a late replacement for Jérémy Perbet. On September 22, Osimhen made his full debut, scoring his first goal with a backheel against Waasland-Beveren.
In July 2019, Osimhen joined Lille OSC. On August 11, 2019, he made his Ligue 1 debut for the team, scoring twice in a 2-1 victory over Nantes. Osimhen was named Ligue 1 Player of the Month for September 2019 after assisting on two additional goals in Lille’s five league games. On June 2, 2020, he was named Lille’s Player of the Season after receiving the most fan votes.
Osimhen scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League on October 2, 2019, in a 1-2 home loss to Chelsea. He finished the season as Lille’s leading scorer, with 13 goals in 25 Ligue 1 games and 18 goals overall. Because of his excellent goal-scoring performances, many predicted that Osimhen would soon be vying for the African Footballer of the Year award.
On July 31, 2020, Osimhen became the most expensive African transfer to date when Serie A club Napoli announced his arrival for a club-record €70 million, which may later increase to €80 million with add-ons. On October 17, 2020, Osimhen scored his first goal for Napoli in a 4-1 victory over Atalanta. After winning, he held up a shirt that demanded an end to Nigeria’s ongoing police brutality.
Osimhen won the Golden Boot and Silver Ball trophies at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, and he was a member of Nigeria’s winning under-17 team. For his achievements, he was named CAF Youth Player of the Year in 2015. Osimhen made his senior debut for Nigeria on June 1, 2017, in a 3-0 friendly victory over Togo.
Osimhen’s disappointing Wolfsburg season kept him out of Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad. He began his loan at Charleroi before being recalled by Gernot Rohr for the international break in November 2018. He made his debut in the friendly victory over Uganda.
Osimhen was released from the Super Eagles squad in March 2019 to play for the Nigerian U23 team after they fell two goals behind their Libyan opponents. In the rematch against Libya, he scored three goals in Asaba. Osimhen was named to both the preliminary 25-man squad and the final 25-man lineup for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. He came on at halftime in the team’s 1-0 victory over Tunisia in the third-place match to replace the injured Odion Ighalo. He participated in the competition for 45 minutes.
Former Nigerian national team coach Gernot Rohr called Osimhen up for a friendly match against Ukraine on September 10 in Dnipro Arena, Ukraine, which ended in a 2-2 draw on August 14. Osimhem performed admirably as a member of the Nigerian squad that competed in the African Nations Cup in 2022.
Awards & Honours
- African U-17 Championship Golden Boot: 2015
- CAF Youth Player of the Year: 2015
- FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Boot: 2015
- FIFA U-17 World Cup Silver Ball: 2015
- Lille Player of the Season: 2019–20
- Prix Marc-Vivien Foé: 2020
- Serie A Best Young Player: 2021–22
- Serie A Player of the Month: March 2022
- UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Month: September 2019
- FIFA U-17 World Cup: 2015
- Africa Cup of Nations third place: 2019
Osimhen’s current club, Napoli, pays him £120,000 per week and £6,240,000 per year to play for them. Victor Osimhen’s net worth is estimated to be between $7 million and $26 million as of 2022, according to infoguidenaigeria.