The Nigerian football news scene is abuzz with reports of striker Victor Osimhen being the most popular person in the Southern Italian city of Naples after leading the city's team, Napoli, to their third Scudetto title.
Osimhen battled several setbacks in his career to earn a move to the Italian club, becoming Africa's most expensive player in the process.
The Nigeria national football team ace then had to adapt to the physicality of Italian football which saw him spend significant time on the sidelines.
He has now reaped the fruits of those labours as Napoli's biggest superstar at the moment.
Victor Osimhen: Napoli star the latest African scoring success in Italy https://t.co/0jgjKnNwEv
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) May 12, 2023
Osimhen celebratory shirts sell out in Napoli stores
Napoli have had a host of popular figures play for them in their history. The most popular is the late Diego Armando Maradona, after whom their stadium is named.
The Argentine landed in the one-club city in the late 1980s and did the impossible. He inspired them to their first two Serie A titles in their history in a space of two seasons.
In the long waiting period for a third title, they have had the likes of Edinson Cavani, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Gonzalo Higuain and Marek Hamsik all wear the sky blue jersey of the Partenopei.
These players gave the team hope and their abilities helped to keep Napoli front and centre of the Italian Serie A and inadvertently, European football, despite their trophy drought. The fans loved them and saw their time at the club as a sign that good things were once again coming their way, just like they did when the legend Maradona represented them.
It took the AFCON qualifiers 2023 top scorer, Victor Osimhen, to bring joy back to the city with his consistent performances which culminated in a Scudetto title for the first time since 1990, 33 years ago.
They signed World class Cavani, signed World class Higuain and still couldn’t win the Serie A.
A boy from Nigeria, Victor Osimhen has written his name in gold in the history of Napoli.
He has become the greatest Napoli player in the club’s history.💪🏾🔥 pic.twitter.com/0ffYEzxux9
— Ibukun Aluko (@IbkSports) May 4, 2023
It is no wonder that every Neapolitan wants to own a piece of Osimhen memorabilia leading to the club facing a huge demand for shirts bearing his likeness to celebrate of his monumental achievement.
Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia and Di Lorenzo shirts popular among Napoli fans
Local news outlet covering the club, Il Napolista, reports that alongside the AFCON 2023 golden boot hopeful, shirts bearing the images of Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, who the fans dubbed “Kvaradona” for his creative playmaking and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, the man who took over the mantle of captaincy from Lorenzo Insigne, are very popular among the fans of the club.
The Super Eagles ace, however, sells more merchandise than all the players of the club combined. His protective mask, which he has worn for more than a year now thanks to an injury that could have left him blind, is also popular among the fans.
They are scrambling to buy replicas on Amazon and in the club's stores with children especially donning them to support their new favourite player. This is in addition to the big mural of Victor Osimhen painted by celebrity local artist PEMArt in Castel Volturno to immortalise his achievement.
Not only has the striker's goals brought a trophy to the club, but it has spurred economic activity like never seen before. It will be a while before they forget about him.
— Victor Osimhen (@victorosimhen9) May 7, 2023
Meanwhile, his focus at the moment is to finish as the Serie A top scorer in addition to the Scudetto. Fans can follow the live scores of his remaining games here on Goalball Live.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago