Osimhen ranked behind Kane in ESPN’s top striker list: Fans react

Osimhen ranked behind Kane in ESPN’s top striker list: Fans react
Credit: Icon Sport

ESPN released a ranking of the 100 best players in the world and Nigeria national football team ace Victor Osimhen is ranked as the fourth best striker behind Harry Kane on the list.

It is a big privilege for the Napoli frontman who is only in his third season as a main-event football superstar. He scored 31 goals in 39 appearances for the Partenopei as Napoli powered through the sea of incredible teams to their third-ever Scudetto and their first in 33 years.

Fans have reacted to the inclusion of Osimhen on the list with some commenting on his placement.

Haaland tops 100-man list; Osimhen one of four Africans on list

Victor Osimhen is one of several Italian Serie A players to be considered for the list which was voted for by ESPN correspondents all across the world.

The Premier League had the most entries for a number of reasons and Manchester City starman Erling Haaland reigned supreme over all. This also meant that he topped the strikers' list, which had heavy hitters like Karim Benzema (now of Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad), Robert Lewandowski and Ligue 1 rising star Jonathan David, who is Osimhen's replacement at LOSC Lille.

The top 10 strikers from last season according to ESPN are:

  1. Erling Haaland
  2. Karim Benzema
  3. Harry Kane
  4. Victor Osimhen
  5. Robert Lewandowski
  6. Gabriel Jesus
  7. Randal Kolo Muani
  8. Alexander Isak
  9. Dusan Vlahovic
  10. Jonathan David

Osimhen's ranking was justified by ESPN using the argument of his shooting and spatial awareness being his most prominent attributes. Kane, who ranked above him, was justified as being above Osimhen for his contribution to Tottenham Hotspur's shambolic season.

The Super Eagles striker is one of four AFCON players to make the list including Mohamed Salah (forward, Egypt), Riyad Mahrez (winger, Algeria), and Achraf Hakimi (right back, Morocco).

Fans react as Kane tops Osimhen in striker's list; question Benzema's inclusion

Many fans are okay with Osimhen’s placement with several in the Nigeria football news space cheering his inclusion in the list.

Congratulatory tweets and posts on Twitter and other social media platforms were directed towards Osimhen for the achievement, which is just another feather in his hat after his fantastic season. The issue many fans had, however, is with the inclusion of Karim Benzema.

The French striker was ranked behind Erling Haaland, leading to Kane and Osimhen having to make do with the third and fourth spots. Many believed that it was undeserved and aired their opinions on the subject.

Comments like, “What is Benzema doing in second?” and “How in the world is Benzema second?” dominated the comments section of the social media post announcing the list.

One fan went as far as ‘fixing’ the top five for ESPN by bumping Kane and Osimhen into second and third.

Another fan made a case for Lewandowski who rounded up the top five. “Lewandowski had a better season than Benzema,” he commented, with another fan agreeing that the former Real Madrid captain should not have made the list.

ESPN has closed off the chapter and is leaving fans to have their discussions but the general consensus among many is that Osimhen, alongside Kane and Haaland, were the three best strikers from last season and that Benzema’s inclusion as the second best behind Haaland did the Nigeria Super Eagles ace an injustice.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

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