The manager of the Nigeria national football team, José Peseiro, has spoken on the mental state of Victor Osimhen as he recovers from injury.
The 24-year-old striker picked up an injury while on international duty with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in October.
The injury is expected to keep him out until after the international break, with an expected return being 29 November 2023. He will miss Nigeria's November clashes with Lesotho and Zimbabwe as a result.
Peseiro, who is planning his squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November, spoke about Victor Osimhen in a recent interview.
Osimhen is sad, says Peseiro
José Peseiro has tried to form a relationship with Victor Osimhen and all the players of the Nigeria national football team since taking over the role.
This helps him to get the best out of all of them. While his tactics may be suspect, fans have testified to the squad balance and the improved camaraderie in every squad since the Portuguese took over.
This has led to him fielding questions often from journalists about the national team players. His latest was on Osimhen when he was approached by Italian journalists about the player.
Osimhen's injury and his contract situation are the main issues on the table at the moment and Peseiro was asked for insight into the player's psyche.
“He is a player with enormous mental strength. In light of everything he went through, he reacted like a champion. By working with us he proved it.
“At the moment he is sad because he is injured and therefore he cannot do what he loves most, which is to play for his team, Napoli. For his abilities, for what he has shown, he has and will always have the best clubs in the world that want him.”
Peseiro is currently looking for replacements for the player as the November international break approaches. He is set to release the squad list in the coming days and Nigerians are excited over the potential replacements for Osimhen to face Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Peseiro: Ballon d'Or finish for Osimhen is extraordinary
Peseiro also praised Osimhen following his official recognition as the eighth best player in the world at the France Football Ballon d'Or awards.
Victor Osimhen is the first Nigerian player to EVER make the top 10 of the Ballon d'Or rankings 🇳🇬❤️ pic.twitter.com/dAAFT3oSk3
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 1, 2023
Osimhen beat the likes of Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski, Antoine Griezmann and 2021 winner Karim Benzema to finish eighth behind Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and a host of impressive players.
Nigerians were ecstatic about the finish and some felt he was denied a more deserving finish. Peseiro chose to see the positives instead, praising Osimhen for a great season and wishing him the best in his future as a footballer.
“Ballon d'Or? To have come eighth in the world and first in Africa in this voting is extraordinary,” Peseiro said. “He is 24 years old, he has a long way to go and on that road he must aim to be the best.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago