By Sedara Philip
Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, has revealed that his utmost dream is to one day win the African Footballer of The Year Award, reports.
The last Nigerian, to win the award was Nwankwo Kanu in 1999 when he edged Ghana’s Samuel Kuffour and Ivory Coast’s Ibrahima Bakayoko to the gong.
Osimhen’s remarkable form this season for Napoli who are closing in on the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years has put him in good contention for the award which no Nigerian player has won in the last 21 years.
The 24-year-old Nigeria international is the highest-scoring African player in Europe’s top five leagues with 21 goals and he is third overall behind Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Harry Kane of Tottenham who have scored more goals than the former Lille striker. The pair has so far scored 30 and 23 goals respectively.
“I am not going to lie, it would be my dream to be African Footballer of the Year,” Osimhen was quoted by Daily Mail.
“I was at the ceremony in 2015 when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won the award. As an African, you dream of this prize and maybe I can win.
“I think I still have a long way to go in achieving that dream. I am really working towards that direction and I think I’m on the right path. But as a man, it won’t be easy but I think having my own family (here) has a dream come true.
“I have a long way to go, so, football is the only thing on my mind and I want to keep focusing, and of course, a lot is expected of me so I’m here to deliver.”
Osimhen, who joined Napoli for an African record fee of €81m will however face stiff competition for the award from Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane as well as Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Meanwhile, The Guardia di Finanza, on behalf of the Naples Public Prosecutor’s Office, have gathered some important documents as they continue investigating Napoli’s deal for Osimhen.
La Repubblica details how the Partenopei agreed to a €71.2m deal for the Nigerian striker with Lille back in September 2020, but around €20.1m of that was made up of four players sent in exchange. The suspicion is that these four players were widely overvalued in order to inflate capital gains.
The Guardia di Finanza – Italy’s financial police – visited Turris, a Serie C team, and gathered the documents relating to the purchase and subsequent sale of Claudio Manzi, one of the four players involved in the Osimhen deal alongside Luigi Liguori, Ciro Palmieri and Orestis Karnezis.
Manzi was sent to Lille in September 2020 for €4m, but in reality, he never went to France, instead signing a loan deal with Fermana immediately.
Less than 12 months later, the Ligue 1 outfit released him on a free transfer and he joined Turris, who then sold him to Virtus Entella for around €120,000 18 months later.