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Sports News of Thursday, 28 July 2022


Osimhen: Between becoming Didier Drogba or Diego Costa

Victor Osimhen Victor Osimhen

About seven years ago, the world saw a lanky young player that many could predict was meant for more.

He was hungry, willing, courageous and strong and he was hardly dominated in every aspect of the game. There is no scout in the world that would have doubted the abilities Victor Osimhen showed in Chile as those of a player meant for greatness. His 10 goals at the competition was a seal of quality.

Many clubs signified interest in getting Osimhen on board but Wolfsburg won the race. From his time in Germany where he cut his tooth in Europe to his Belgian ordeal and stardom, to his French cruise and now Italian job, the Super Eagles striker has always fought his way up.

Where Osimhen comes from, chaos thrives. He was trained in the midst of great challenges and memories of his past may be fuel for his growth and greatness or a holdback from them.

His potential is undeniable, but so is his impulsive attitude.

Many times, he makes the difference for his team, but he’s also as patient as the next hard tackle he receives. For a player with his enormous ability, there’s the absolute need to be level-headed. His style invites hardness and defenders will do everything to stop him from making a mess of them. That is a pointer to his growth and level, less than those players’ desire to knock him out.

Like the legendary Didier Drogba

Drogba was asked what he thought of Osimhen’s ability and similarities between the two of them. He answered positively and gave a verdict on what he thought of the former Lille forward.

“I like him (Osimhen) a lot. Great striker. He can be the best in the world and when you have the talent like he’s got, I think it’s just a question of momentum,” Drogba had told Marco Giordano in an interview.

To get such plaudits from one’s idol says something about progress. Osimhen is growing to become one of the world’s most fearsome marksmen and his current valuation also points to his ability.

Drogba represents great leadership, such as the like he showed every time he played for Chelsea or Cote D’Ivoire. Osimhen once said the Ivorian is more than a football icon to him.

“I like Drogba, but not just as a footballer,” he told the Republica Newspaper.

“I like leaders and he was it on and off the pitch, where it counts the most. He has a personality that I admire,” he said.

To be on Drogba’s level, Osimhen must channel his hunger to leadership, and exemplary behaviour for as many young players of upcoming generations already looking up to him.

The same way Osimhen looked up to Drogba, young players are already looking forward to the Napoli star.

At an event attended by Soccernet, a little boy asked his mum, “where’s Osimhen?” when he saw his banner. His quality is unquestionable and it must be met by impeccable character.

Getting on the end of wrong reports as he did earlier in the week will give bigger teams and managers a second opinion of what he truly represents. His goals scoring exploits and qualities regardless, it takes a great head, equal to great feet to get close to Drogba.

Or Like Diego Costa

The Brazilian-Spanish forward is at his best, dreaded, dangerous and deadly. He’s a thorn-in-the-flesh.

He makes things happen, and is a nemesis to defenders, similar to what Osimhen shows. His unquestionable hunger doesn’t go without record. That innate desire to heat the pitch up makes him some football fans’ favourite but such attitudes can only go so far in the game.

Costa has appeared at the World Cup and has won the Premier League and La Liga, playing active roles in both successes.

Despite his respectable success and quality, only a few fans of the game will remember him for his football. His name is reputed for dissent. His appearance is known for chaos and the sight of him, despite being a problem for defenders, isn’t very pleasurable to his team also. These are the tags Osimhen must fight to beat.

For every Didier Drogba, there’s a Diego Costa or a Mario Balotelli. Their qualities are not arguable, but what sets them apart is a soft skill that’s not owned by many. Osimhen must grow, and step further into what the world saw of him seven years ago. It’s about time.