Football

Victor Osimhen: How Didier Drogba inspired me to become a professional footballer

Former Napoli defender Ciro Ferrara has praised Victor Osimhen for his impressive performance in Sunday’s 2-0 home win against Cagliari.

Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen has recalled his journey to becoming a professional footballer.

The 22-year-old, who stated that he was cleaning gutters in Nigeria before making the breakthrough as a footballer is one of the most highly-rated strikers in the world today.

After a difficult spell at Bundesliga club VFL Wolfsburg, Osimhen found his feet at Ligue 1 club Lille before moving to Napoli.

“It all started like a dream, a boyhood dream from the slum,” he said in an interview with his compatriot Paul Troost-Ekong on Youtube.

“I wanted to become a professional player, inspired by a lot of big legends like Didier Drogba, Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi and many others.

“I feel like I have achieved this feat, it’s one of my biggest achievements in life,” the former striker added.

“When I was growing up I was cleaning the gutters for 20 Naira, for my landlord and did some cleaning jobs for my neighbours close to my hours, fetch the water for 80 Naria I think.

“I found pleasure in doing these things because I believe when I worked so hard to get this money it was important for me, I had consciousness on how to spend this money and help my family.

“My brother was selling newspapers, my sister oranges. I was in the traffic with water and I’d had to chase cars, give them the water to get the money. I feel like these struggles helped me in life.

“I am grateful for where I am today because of what I’ve been through, it shaped me into the man I am. I am really grateful to God for that.”

Osimhen moved to Europe in 2017 when Wolfsburg signed nim from Ultimate Strikers Academy in Nigeria.

He then moved to Belgium and France playing for Charleroi and Lille.

He scored 18 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions with the Ligue 1 side before moving to Napoli on a permanent deal.

The Nigeria international scored 10 goals in 24 Serie A appearances during his first season at the Stadio Maradona.

Osimhen has had a great start to the 2021-22 campaign with seven goals in eight games across all competitions.

His contract with the Partenopei expires in June 2025.

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