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Nigerian Victor Osimhen voted African participant of the yr in Ligue 1

On the finish of an train truncated by the well being disaster linked to the Covid-19, the performances of Lille Victor Osimhen left no room for suspense. The Nigerian striker gained the 2020 version of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize, awarded to the very best African participant in Ligue 1 of the season.

Six years for the reason that Marc-Vivien Foé Prize had not reached Nigeria. As in 2014, when Lille's Vincent Enyeama was topped, it’s to a different Tremendous Eagle of the northern membership that the trophy reserved for the very best African participant of the season in Ligue 1 will quickly be awarded.

On the finish of a frankly profitable season, regardless of the interruption because of the Covid-19 (13 objectives, Four assists), Losc ahead Victor Osimhen left no room for doubt. At 21, he gained his very first particular person distinction pretty extensively (284 pts), forward of the Algerian from AS Monaco Islam Slimani (95 pts) and the Moroccan from Stade de Reims Yunis Albelhamid (89 pts).

Second Nigerian to be topped African participant of the yr in L1, he’s additionally the sixth participant from Lille to acquire this trophy, confirming a bit extra the experience of the northern membership by way of recruiting African pearls. As a result of if it was in Belgium, a bit additional north, that Lille went to search out its nugget, the primary traces of the tumultuous historical past of Victor Osimhen are written a lot additional south.

Benjamin of a sibling of seven youngsters, it’s on the foot of Olusosun, the large Lagos dump, that the long run Losc attacker grew up. As a child, he accompanied his mom in the course of the countless site visitors jams to promote a couple of sachets of water and get one thing to eat.

From the galley in Lagos to the coronation of the world

An already tough each day life that will get much more sophisticated, a couple of years later, on the dying of his mom. Within the course of, his father was disadvantaged of his job. By the participant's personal admission, the household has no selection and should "stick collectively" to get out of it. Andrew, his massive brother, additionally focused on soccer, attracts a line on his profession desires to go promote newspapers. However Victor retains this objective at the back of his thoughts, even when he spends most of his time working.

Just a few years later, its historical past took a vital flip. Like hundreds of younger individuals on the time, {the teenager} is put to the check whereas Nigeria prospects in an effort to fill the numbers with its nationwide alternatives of younger individuals. Emmanuel Amunike, Nigerian soccer legend and under-17 coach of the Tremendous Eagles, lets himself be satisfied by the younger man's expertise and decides to take him to compete within the African Cup of Nations for his age class.

The CAN-2015 U17 (U17), a founding occasion for Victor Osimhen, since he scored there 4 instances and completed prime scorer within the competitors. Logically, he continues the journey with Amunike and competes within the U17 World Cup. Ten objectives later – a file – Osimhen hoists younger Nigerians on prime of the world. And the prodigy attracts consideration to the 4 corners of Europe.

Germany on the foot of the wall, then the Belgian breakaway

It was lastly Wolfsburg who hit the jackpot by signing the resident of the Final Strikers Academy, at the start of 2017, after having established a pre-contract in 2016. In concept at the very least, for the reason that troubles pile up for the younger recruit. Undermined by accidents and a sophisticated adaptation in Germany, he did not impose himself, and even to acquire a major enjoying time (barely fifteen ends of matches).

And in the summertime of 2018, when he quickly returned to the nation to see his household, he contracted malaria earlier than returning to Germany. No preparation at first of the season for the younger nugget, pressured to watch a medical quarantine in Wolfsburg.

For German leaders, the failure not appears to be doubtful. Provided on mortgage to a number of Belgian golf equipment, Osimhen subsequently landed in Charleroi, missing in confidence and in need of kind. The operation is all a dangerous wager. However in simply three weeks, the participant lastly manages to reverse the development. As of the primary video games of the Jupiler League, the plain jumps out: the Belgian membership smelled the nice luck.

Osimhen shortly recovers most of his bodily situation and, from September, he wins within the 11 holder to by no means depart him. His file makes him one of the outstanding artificers in his championship, with 19 objectives scored within the 2018/19 season.

Unsurprisingly, the acquisition possibility negotiated by Charleroi when the participant was loaned was exercised the next summer season. The Belgian membership pays the three.5 million euros requested by Wolfsburg after which sells the participant in Lille, in change for a examine of fifteen million euros.

Lille and the earlier Pépé

On the Losc aspect, the target is straightforward: discover a substitute for Nicolas Pépé – Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2019 – whose 22 objectives within the 2018/19 season allowed the membership to hunt 2nd place in Ligue 1 Courted in all places in Europe, the Ivorian then leaves the north of France with out shock, course Arsenal and for an quantity of round 80 million euros.

The great monetary blow is plain, however the sports activities loss guarantees to be tough to compensate. And but … From his first match, towards FC Nantes, Osimhen signed a double for the opening of Ligue 1. Then towards Saint-Etienne, two days later, identical value. The beginnings are thundering, and the steadiness sheet on the finish of the season, even truncated by the well being disaster linked to the Covid-19, confirms the development (13 objectives and Four assists in 27 video games).

Convincing on the garden, the participant can also be unanimous exterior. In an interview with La Voix du Nord, the previous Losc physician Patrick Flamant, evokes for instance a boy "very decided" and "all the time within the nails". "It looks like nothing however soccer exists subsequent door," he stated. This ardour appears to have conquered the Lille supporters, who elected him "Mastiff of the season", on June 2. A "darling" of the general public who, even in mourning for the dying of his father a couple of days earlier, has since not did not reaffirm his love for the membership.

From there to have the ability to affirm that Osimhen might be a candidate for his personal succession subsequent season? Not so positive, since affords are piling up on the desk of Lille leaders. Naples, Liverpool, and different massive names in European soccer appear keen to interrupt their piggy financial institution – between 40 and 80 million euros – to afford the companies of the Nigerian. By the very admission of the president of Losc, the "wide selection" of candidates would come from "three completely different championships". And little question that like final yr with Nicolas Pépé, Lille can have a tough time refusing such a considerable provide.

• The whole classification of the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2020:

1 – Victor Osimhen (Nigeria – Lille OSC) ► 284 pts

2 – Islam Slimani (Algeria – AS Monaco) ► 95 pts

3 – Yunis Abdelhamid (Morocco – Stade de Reims) ► 89 pts

4 – Habib Diallo (Senegal – FC Metz) ► 52 pts

5 – Mbaye Niang (Senegal – Stade Rennais) ► 43 pts

6 ex-aquo – Hamari Traoré (Mali – Stade Rennais) ► 37 pts

and Idrissa Gueye (Senegal – Paris SG) ► 37 pts

8 – Denis Bouanga (Gabon – AS Saint-Etienne) ► 27 pts

9 – Edouard Mendy (Senegal – Stade Rennais) ► 24 pts

10 – Andy Delort (Algeria – Montpellier HSC) ► 13 pts

11 – Moses Simon (Nigeria – FC Nantes) ► 10 pts