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Victor Osimhen opens up on love for Drogba, swapping shirt with Haaland amidst Napoli Serie A title push

Victor Osimhen who hasn’t hidden his love for former Ivory Coast captain, Didier Drogba has opened up on his attachment to the striker, swapping shirts with Erling Haaland as he leads Napoli’s title charge and end their 33 years wait for a Serie A trophy.

A shining light of the European game this season, the Napoli forward is an idol in his native Nigeria and is expected to be one of the hottest properties of the summer transfer market.

His stunning performances this season has took the club to the brink of their first league title since the days of Diego Maradona and end their 33 years wait for a Serie A trophy.

According to Dailymail UK, the 24-year-old is now valued at a minimum £150million and said recently it was his ‘dream’ to play in the Premier League.

Osimhen is happy in Italy but with Manchester United and Chelsea among those who may be looking for a specialist centre-forward at the end of the season, he will be top of many lists.

As he settles down in his hotel room for his first major interview with a UK media outlet, Osimhen – a doubt for Napoli’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against AC Milan – delivers a fascinating account of his journey to becoming one of the best strikers in the world.

With Napoli so close to glory, Osimhen is now a little more cautious now when asked about English football but his inspiration is one of the icons of the Premier League era – Didier Drogba.

Mention the former Chelsea striker’s name and Victor Osimhen becomes a pure fan again.

“I have always supported Drogba and I have huge love and admiration for him,” he gushes.

“I remember when he scored the equalizer in the 2012 Champions League Final, an amazing header, and the way I celebrated was as though I had scored the goal. My friends knew I was obsessed with Drogba.”

“When I scored 10 goals and won the Golden Boot at the Under-17 World Cup in 2015, one of the Nigeria staff showed me a tweet from Drogba. It said ‘Congratulations Victor. I wish you all the best for the future.”

“I was shocked. I never believed someone like Didier Drogba would tweet those words to a young aspiring striker. It gave me a whole new motivation to succeed.”

“Trust me, he has been so helpful. One morning last year I woke up and checked my Instagram, and found messages to me from him, complimenting me, but saying I still had a long way to go. It’s amazing to be in contact with him.”

“I try to model my game on his and there are a lot of things I can take from his game and add to my own, so there is nothing better for a young player.”

Victor Osimhen is arguably a more complete No 9 compared to Erling Haaland and he is technically outstanding, powerful in the air, quick, athletic and intelligent.

Wearing a protective mask on the pitch after breaking his cheekbone and eye socket in November 2021, the 24-year-old even looks like a superhero and children in Italy are emulating his strides.

The idea of Osimhen v Haaland duel for the Premier League Golden Boot is thrilling yet Osimhen reveals that the pair already share great mutual respect.

“I play with Leo Ostigard at Napoli, who is very good friends with Haaland and plays for Norway with him,” Victor Osimhen explains.

“I am a fan of the Bundesliga so I’ve followed him for a while and every weekend he seems to score two, three, four goals.”

“Ostigard spoke to me a lot about him, how hard he trained, then one day he said: ‘If you want, I can bring you his shirt.’ I said: ‘Of course, bro.”

“So he spoke to Haaland, who also asked for my shirt, so we swapped them through Ostigard. He is one of the best of his generation so to be compared with him – and considered one of the best strikers in the world – only inspires me to do more.”

“I can score four goals in a game, I can provide more assists, I can do many more things as I have the quality to execute them. I need to work even harder and then at the end of my career I can hopefully look back and say yes, I did some wonderful things.”

“If we can win the title for Napoli, the city will never be the same again. When you go to the city, the fans have tears in their eyes. They haven’t won the league since Maradona’s time (1990) and they are so close to realising this dream.”

‘Sometimes they come to the players’ houses to show their love, as late as 2am. Naples bleeds for football and I have imagined many times how the city will explode if we can win the Scudetto (league title). We have chances to go far in the Champions League, too.’

Osimhen’s rise is all the more impressive considering the adversity he has experienced. His was not the smooth path of the golden prospect who is taken into the academy of a top club in his early years and progresses into the first team.

Story credit: Dailymail

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