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AFCON: Can Victor Osimhen Guide Super Eagles to Victory in Ivory Coast?

By: Keruwole Sulaimon

Winning the Africa Cup of Nations is what gives most African footballers, either based in Europe or as an home-based, the right to brag and also have a lifetime victory that they can relish on for the rest of their life. 

Every African player would agree that always wanting to win a trophy for their country is important to them and also because of the historical moment that comes with it.

For every African player that has won the continental tournament, it’s always an unforgettable moment of happiness and this applies to the Super Eagles players too, who won the AFCON in 1980, 1994 and 2013. It always leaves them with the moment of history being made, the pride, the honour, the excitement, pumping of adrenaline and all. 

With just two days to the kickoff of the 34th edition of the AFCON in Ivory Coast, here’s an observation on Victor Osimhen and the pressure on him to perform and bring him Nigeria’s fourth AFCON trophy. 

Osimhen in December was awarded the Confederation of African Football Men’s Best Player of the Year award for 2023. Undeniably, the young man from Olusosun performed beyond wonders last year when his goals secured the Scudetto for his club, Napoli. 

Now, AFCON is upon him and due to his quality, the Super Eagles striker is one Nigerians are expecting to perform wonders at the tournament. Words on the streets have it that, Osimhen must do all his best he can to secure the AFCON title for Nigeria as he was able to do something of such for Napoli in the 22/23 season. Nothing less is expected of him. 

Football, they say, is associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across all continents. References to the Nigerian supporters exudes extreme emotional experiences at Super Eagles football games which characterized all aspects of discussions. Such is the intensity of what they have put in place towards this coming AFCON, seeing that they have experienced disappointment from previous editions of the tournament. 

No doubt, Nigeria’s Super Eagles participation in any football tournament always comes with a lot of vibes, because across all genders, that is one thing that unites us together. We all want to watch our players perform well and win any tournament we find ourselves in. Football provides for many fans an opportunity to let themselves go emotionally — to release the frustrations of everyday life.

Osimhen who has pushed his team, Napoli to the pinnacle of Italian football is now a global citizen whose signature is heavy and iconic. Beating the records of George Weah, respectively as highest goal scorers in the Italian Serie A and also ending the Napoli’s drought after 33 years. 

Nothing less is expected of him as we embark on this journey to our fourth AFCON crown. As fans, every support, dedication and encouragement is needed, because the pressure on him is enormous.

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