The Nigerian international has been in sensational form this season; still, the perception persists that he is nowhere near being the best he can be
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen has been the best player in the Italian Serie A this season by a country mile and a few inches more.
But how much of a sure bet is he to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award as the best player in the world in the nearest future?
Victor Osimhen’s excellent form in Italy suggests that PSG’s Kylian Mbappé and Manchester United’s Erling Haaland are no longer the sole heirs to take over from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as perennial winners of the Ballon d’Or.
Messi and Ronaldo won 11 of the last 14 Ballon d’Or awards, but with age no longer on their sides, both superstars will likely not be in the running in a few years.
Frenchman Kylian Mbappe and Norwegian striker Erling Haaland are the two youngsters already considered world-class.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Barcelona’s Pedri may have recently been introduced into the conversation of future winners of the award.
Is Osimhen now a world-class talent?
But Osimhen’s remarkable exploits in the Italian top flight this term indicate that a new superstar has been lifted into that exalted class.
The Super Eagles forward is without equal at the top of Serie A’s goalscorer chart, with 18 goals in 19 appearances – the most he has ever managed in his professional career.
In netting his latest strike in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Sassuolo at the weekend, Osimhen struck his 100th professional goal, which he achieved in 197 games.
Incredibly, that is faster than it took Lionel Messi (210 matches) and Cristiano Ronaldo (301 games) to reach their first century of goals.
Winning the Ballon d’Or and becoming its first Nigerian recipient, though, will require more than just scoring goals. It must also involve winning titles.
Fortunately for Osimhen, he is leading Napoli’s charge for a first Serie A title in over thirty years while the club is performing excellently in the UEFA Champions League, where they next face Eintracht Frankfurt.
If the stars align and Osimhen wins the league title, and Napoli reaches the latter stages of the Champions League, it will not be long before the former Lille lad becomes the first African national team player to win the Ballon d’Or since legendary Liberian forward, George Weah.