Rising from his breakthrough campaign at the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile where he won the golden boot and Silver Ball awards, Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen is aiming to play at his first senior FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.
The 23-year-old has been in superb form in the Italian Serie A, netting 11 times in 20 games this season for Napoli and he has spoken to CAFOnline.com about his desire to spearhead Nigeria’s bid for a seventh World Cup ticket against Ghana.
“At the last FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018, I was in the hospital, supporting the Super Eagles,” Osimhen told CAFOnline.com.
“I have always been a fan of the Super Eagles, having an opportunity to be here, we have one more hurdle. I am looking forward to the game as well as getting the World Cup ticket.”
The former Lille star had played no part in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, where the Super Eagles failed to go past the Round of 16 for the first time in 40 years.
To be back to this team is a blessing and I look forward to the matches. I miss the squad so much, I’ve been with the team since 2017, it’s always a great atmosphere with the team. That I was not at the AFCON was a big blow to me, but I give thanks to God for whatever situation I find myself in. Now I am back with the team and I want to give my all for the common good of the team.Osimhen
Having missed the Afcon 2021, Osimhen opened up on his exciting return to the Super Eagles’ fold but he just couldn’t hide his regrets about not playing at the continent showpiece.
“To be called up to represent is a dream come true. I will always seize the opportunity to represent the Super Eagles if I’m fit and very much okay,” he disclosed.
“To be back to this team is a blessing and I look forward to the matches. I miss the squad so much, I’ve been with the team since 2017, it’s always a great atmosphere with the team.
“That I was not at the AFCON was a big blow to me, but I give thanks to God for whatever situation I find myself in. Now I am back with the team and I want to give my all for the common good of the team.”
Nigeria previously appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup six times and remains on course for the seventh outing in Qatar after forcing a barren first-leg draw against Ghana in Kumasi.
Ahead of the second leg battle, the CAF 2015 Youth Player of the Year is confident the three-time African champions will overcome Otto Addo’s men to nick the FIFA World Cup spot.
“Ghana is a great team and we will never underrate the team just as we’ve been doing, we saw the upset the Central African Republic gave to us,” he admits.
“For me, I would do my best, but it’s not just about me, we have some inspirational players in the team like Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo, Kenneth Omeruo and other great players. With the help of their experience, we’ll be able to actualize this dream.
“We know the importance of the game to us, our families, careers and the entire nation. This game is more than just football and we will give our best and also try to make sure we have the upper hand.”
Despite failing to hit the net at Baba Yara Stadium, Osimhen will be relied upon by Augustine Eguavoen’s side when they host the Black Stars in the reserve fixture of the FIFA World Cup playoff at Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday.