Osimhen eyes iconic status at Napoli


Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen believes he will become a club “icon” if he leads Napoli to their first Italian Serie A title in more than 30 years.

However, the 24-year-old Nigerian said he would not be able to reach the status of late Argentine great Diego Maradona, whom he called a “demi-god”.

Maradona is still regarded as Naples’ greatest football hero.

He was the local team’s only league champion in 1987 and 1990, and their stadium is named after him.

“I don’t consider myself as an icon yet until I achieve the objective which the club has set itself for this season,” Osimhen said while picking up an award in Rome.

However, if Napoli wins the scudetto, he said: “I think (I) have a very big chance of being named an icon.”

But, he added, “it wouldn’t compare to what Maradona has done for this club.”

With 13 games to go, Napoli is odds-on for Serie A glory, having a huge, 15-point advantage over second-placed Inter Milan.

Winning would be a huge lift for the city in Italy’s poorer south, where fans are passionate about the club.

Some street hawkers are already selling mementos in Napoli colors and with a “three” on them in anticipation of a third title.

Shops are also selling cakes and Easter eggs decorated with Osimhen’s trademark face mask, which he wears on the pitch following a face injury.

“It’s been 33 years since the last scudetto,” Napoli Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis said.

“Another title could make the city go crazy, I think it is already going crazy and planning (a party) which could involve two or three million people,” De Laurentiis said.

Osimhen, who is in his third season at Napoli after previous stints in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg and in Ligue 1 with Lille, is Serie A’s top scorer this season with 19 goals.

In Rome, where he was given a prize by the Foreign Press Association, he hinted at a future move to England’s Premier League.

“I’m working so hard to make sure that I achieve my dream of playing of course in the Premier League someday,” he said, adding that for the moment he was focused on the Serie A.


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