Napoli banks on Osimhen for the FIFA Club World Cup

Napoli banks on Osimhen for the FIFA Club World Cup
Photo by Icon Sport

If, in the unlikely turn, Victor Osimhen remains at SSC Napoli next season, then the superstar forward will need to dig deep to drag the Naples side to another historic moment.

The Neapolitans are unhappy with their current situation as they want to remain in the mainframe of European and world football.

As it is, Napoli is struggling to return to the Champions League next season, and they are counting on the goals of Osimhen to see them beat othercomers in picking up a spot.

The other target within their sight is the FIFA Club World Cup, and they are losing the battle for a place in the tournament next year to Juventus.

Osimhen and Napoli have to upstage Juventus to qualify for Club World Cup

Osimhen challenging Juventus for FIFA Club World Cup place
Photo by Icon Sport

Osimhen scored a goal against Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League tie to keep hopes of progressing in the tournament alive.

Their path to the FIFA Club World Cup is laced with thorns, and the Napoli president is unhappy.

According to the new FIFA rules for qualification for the tournament between June and July next year, Napoli are behind Juventus in the ranking for a spot.

They have to do what the club has never achieved in its history – reach the semi-finals of the UCL to qualify ahead of Juventus.

It is the reason the club needs Osimhen to bang in the goals to qualify.

The points-based qualification system has left Osimhen and co-shorthanded, with the prospect of reaching the semi-final a monumental task.

The FIFA Club World Cup rules

Can Osimhen lead Napoli past Juventus to the FIFA Club World Cup
Photo by Icon Sport

Despite the threat of protest against Juventus by Napoli's President due to the Bianconeri's financial status, FIFA has published the qualification route for the tournament.

Twenty-three teams have qualified for the 32-team tournament, with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea qualifying as champions in the last four years.

The winner of this year's UCL will pick up the fourth slot.

Other European teams who have also qualified include PSG, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Benfica and Porto.

Other teams jostling for a place include Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Napoli is in a direct battle with Juventus for the other Italian ticket and is banking on Osimhen who has hit double figures this season to help them. Meanwhile, Lazio crashed out following their loss to Bayern Munich.

Can Osimhen lead Napoli one step further than last season?

In the last Champions League, the Naples side crashed out in the quarter-final against AC Milan, with Osimhen scoring their only goal in a 1-1 second-leg draw.

The dye is cast, and Osimhen has his work cut out. If he succeeds in leading the Partenopei to the UCL semi-final, he will have edged his name in eternal Napoli glory.

Meanwhile, there is the little matter of beating Barcelona in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie, with the Blaugrana seeking a quarter-final place to qualify.

No matter what happens, Osimhen will unlikely remain at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium beyond the summer.

He might play in the FIFA Club World Club in the colours of another club.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.