‘You’re better than Haaland’
By Ed Emeanua
Fans have reacted massively to Victor Osimhen’s post regarding his team’s heroics against visiting Cagliari at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on the weekend.
Victor Osimhen scored with a massive leap and towering header amidst two defenders, and then upped the ante by providing a sensational assist for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to score a 75th-minute winner as Napoli beat Claudio Ranieri’s Cagliari 2-1 in Serie A, Saturday.
The Super Eagles forward helped Serie A champions end a four-match winless record at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Serie A, which propelled Napoli to fourth place on the table, with 11 points behind leaders Inter Milan.
Osimhen’s performance in Saturday’s victory against Cagliari was outstanding and particularly signaled to Serie A championships contenders that the Napoli number 9 has now fully recovered from injury and is ready to lead the charge for his team’s defence of the scudetto.
A wonderful and flamboyant football from the Napoli foremost star which saw the 24-year-old Nigerian masterfully control a pass with his right foot, before flipping the ball onto his chest, then bob it thrice off his right thigh and onto his head, all this, amidst a sea of Cagliari players.
At a point, seeming to have lost control of the ball, the Nigeria international rather powered his way through three defenders before crossing to the unmanned Kvaratskhelia to plant the ball in off the near post.
The encounter’s three goals came inside six pulsatile second-half minutes that saw Cagliari’s Leonardo Pavoletti equalize for Cagliari soon after Napoli’s top drawer Osimhen’s 69th-minute curtain raiser.
Ranieri, the Cagliari boss acknowledge that his side were already the yeomen of Saturday’s fixture against Osimhen and his teammates even before the first kick of the match.
“We did everything we could but when you go up against champions like Osimhen and Kvara they can decide the match in an instant,” Ranieri said.
Osimhen was key to Napoli’s title run penultimate season, notching a league-leading 26 strikes in his team’s sensational reclaim of the scudetto after decades of futile challenges for the coveted title.
After the encounter, the Nigeria forward then took to ‘X’ to salute team effort, drawing accolades from teeming followers around the world.
One respondent replied: “Iconic assist from you brother,” and yet another fan wrote: “Come and marry my younger sister.
Iconic Assist from you brother ⚽️👊🏼🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/xJagoUUJBu
— Saka (@SakasticBET) December 16, 2023
Encomiums also poured in for the Napoli hero outside his fan base. Italian news outlets and publications recognized the star power of Napoli’s mainstay.
La Gazzetta dello Sport praised the 24-year-old Napoli striker to the high heavens, highlighting his involvements in the event as well as tangible enthusiasm on the field, and wrote: “How nice to see how much he cares. Active already in the first half, the break into the opener was splendid, the stubbornness with which he won the ball when he passed to Kvaratskhelia for the 2-1.”
Corriere dello Sport evocated such beliefs, alluding to the consequential showing from the Nigerian, remarking: “First he smashed his header in NBA style, overtaking Dossena and Obert: 1-0. Then he serves the assist for 2-1 to Kvara.
“Yes, but as a champion, seven dribbles in the area with foot, thigh and head (the last) between four men – like the old Nappi – and finishing with strength between Goldaniga and Obert with those infinite legs. Unmarkable. A force of nature.”