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Soccer News of Tuesday, 31 October 2023


‘I put him up there’ – US coach Nsien tips Osimhen to lead Ballon d’or charge after Messi

Victor Osimhen Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen is in line to replace Lionel Messi as next global superstar, says Michael Nsien, with the USA U19 coach backing the Argentine for a record-extending eighth Ballon d’or.

Alongside Erling Haaland, and Kylian Mbappe, the Nigeria international is among the nominees to determine who succeeds Karim Benzema at the Theatre du Chatelet on Monday night.

Osimhen played a crucial role to inspire Napoli’s first Serie A title for 33 years, contributing 33 goals and five assists to his credit, regardless the USA U19 coach is upbeat that Messi will claim yet another Golden Ball.

Regardless, he sees the Super Eagle as a leading figure in the Ballon d’or after the retirement of the ex-Barcelona star and his contemporaries.

“Messi won the World Cup then you have Haaland who scored so many goals. I think once Messi is gone and that generation moves on, I think it opens the door for a new generation which I think definitely Osimhen is among the top four or five,” Nsien told

“After this, I put him up there but I believe they are going to give this one to Messi who is on his way out.”

Osimhen has established himself as one of Europe’s deadliest striker since moving to Italy from Lille. His brilliant goal-scoring statistics have not gone unnoticed to the eyes of Europe’s wealthiest clubs, with the likes Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea all expressing an interest in acquiring his services in the near future.

Also, Nsien raves about the performances of the 24-year-old and predicts that the youngster would enjoy a quantum leap if he keeps up with his devastating form.

“He’s been amazing, he’s been consistent over the last few years which is not always easy for a striker,” he continued.

“He’s had a great ride and I hope he continues with that. I think a lot of people thought he would have left [Napoli]and moved on this year, but I hope it pays off for him and he continue to have another good year before he makes a move to another club.

“He’s challenged to do it over and over again in the same environment. I think once people see and you have kind of set the bar really high.

“So, there is a lot of pressure staying in the same league and if he is able to do it again, I think his market value will skyrocket and if he wants to move, he will have that option for sure. “

Osimhen, whose current contract runs until 2025, is currently out with a hamstring injury and will miss a couple of matches for Napoli.