Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has reacted after the outgoing administration of the Federal Republic of Nigeria honoured him for his achievement in sports as a citizen of the country.
The Nigeria national football team ace was bestowed with the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic honour on the eve of the inauguration of the new administration.
He was represented by a member of his inner circle as he was still away on duty with the Italian Serie A 2022/23 champions.
He posted a heartfelt appreciation of the recognition and was celebrated by the Nigerian football news media.
Today, I feel so blessed and grateful as I announce that I have been awarded the prestigious Member of the order of the Federal Republic (MFR) award by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Today also marked my 100th game for Napoli and I was fortunate to score 2 goals for my club,… pic.twitter.com/4dZ9CMV5F2
— Victor Osimhen (@victorosimhen9) May 28, 2023
Osimhen: “I feel blessed and grateful”
Victor Osimhen, whose 25 goals have seen him top the Serie A top scorer race for the Capocannoniere award, scored a number of important goals as Napoli defied all odds to clinch their third ever Italian top flight title.
In the course of this achievement, Osimhen broke two African goal-scoring records in Italy. One of them was a 13-year record held by Cameroonian Football Association president Samuel Eto'o, who scored 21 goals in the 2009/10 Serie A season. That was the most number of goals scored by an African player in Italy.
The other is the long-standing record set by Liberia's president George Weah, who scored 47 goals in his stint in Italy. Osimhen has crossed the 50-goal mark this season with goals that helped the Partenopei break their 33-year duck in the top flight.
All these goal-scoring exploits has made the Nigeria Super Eagles striker one of the most loved people in Naples, Italy and his country of birth has chosen to honour him for putting Nigerian sports on the map.
Victor Osimhen is the first Nigerian player to score 30 goals in a single season while playing in a Europe's top-five league this century.
In a league of his own. 👑 pic.twitter.com/UJutux2hfH
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) May 28, 2023
Commenting on the award all the way from Naples, Osimhen posted (via Twitter): “Today, I feel so blessed and grateful as I announce that I have been awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) award by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he said.
Osimhen thanks Napoli for opportunity to serve
Victor Osimhen did not hesitate to thank Napoli for the opportunity to play a big part in their history, while appreciating the fans for his support.
“Today (against Bologna) also marked my 100th game for Napoli and I was fortunate to score 2 goals for my club,” he continued. “It is an amazing moment and feeling for me to be able to achieve this feat for this great club.
“This MFR recognition also means a lot to me, as it symbolizes the appreciation and support of the great Nigerian people for the dedication and hard work they have always put into their individual careers to make Nigeria Proud.
“My deepest gratitude goes to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for recognizing me at such a national level, and I am so humbled and grateful.
“I am proud to be a Nigerian and represent Her.
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for their continuous efforts in promoting and developing sports in our country.
“Their support has contributed to the growth of myself and every other athletes in the country.
Only 5 players have scored more than 25 league goals this season, in the 5 major leagues:
🇳🇴 Erling Haaland – 36 ⚽️
🏴Harry Kane – 30 ⚽️
🇫🇷Kylian Mbappé – 28 ⚽️
🇫🇷Alexandre Lacazette 27 ⚽️
🆕🇳🇬 Victor Osimhen – 25 ⚽️
The Nigerian only scored one penalty 💪🏿 pic.twitter.com/StKxPEfgqI
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) May 29, 2023
“To my amazing family, who have been my rock and source of inspiration throughout my journey, I am forever indebted to your love and support. I love you all and this award is as much yours as it is mine.
“And to my fans and supporters, both in Nigeria and around the world, you all are super amazing and I am so grateful for all you do for me.
“Your constant support, well wishes and cheers have uplifted me in moments of triumph and provided solace during challenging times.
“I am immensely honored to achieve this feat for Napoli and I’m also honored to receive this MFR award, and I consider it a responsibility to continue striving for excellence, more records, and making meaningful contributions to people’s lives with the sport I love. Thank you, everyone. God is the greatest.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago