Several Napoli supporters are doing their best to show their affection to the Nigerian striker who gives his all to their darling club any time he steps on the football pitch
Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen is not only the best player in the Italian Serie A but he is also the most adored footballer in Naples.
The Nigerian forward is tearing the most notorious Italian defences apart, raining down goals nearly on a daily, and picking up the most prestigious individual awards almost at will and Napoli fans are loving every bit of him for it.
The fans love Osimhen’s goals and he has 17 of them in the Italian Serie A, the latest coming in Napoli’s 3-0 defeat of Cremonese on Sunday.
They love singing his name when celebrating his goals. They love meeting his countrymen as evidenced by the warm welcome Soccernet’s Managing Editor, Lolade Adewuyi enjoyed when he was in Naples a few days ago.
And they love Osimhen’s masks. It is the most in-demand piece of memorabilia at the Diego Maradona Stadium after the Super Eagles striker’s jersey.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia), hundreds of Napoli fans queued up in stalls outside of the stadium to buy replicas of Osimhen’s mask before Napoli met with Cremonese on Sunday.
What is it with Italians and masks?
Italians love masks, it’s a fact. From carnivals to theater, masks have been part of Italian culture for centuries. And they’re not just for show – they’re also a way for people to express their individuality and creativity.
“Dan Brown’s Inferno” showcases Italy’s fascination with masks. Remember that novel that takes readers on a journey through the mysterious world of masks and the hidden meanings behind them? Right!
Love for Osimhen’s mask
Osimhen’s mask, though, has no history in mystery and culture.
He was forced to wear them for his protection after recovering from a cheekbone injury he suffered against Inter Milan in November 2021.
After wearing the mask for more than a year, it is no longer only a protective item but also a symbol of his strength and character in coming back from the darkest of places and continuing the rise toward the pinnacle of his sport.
He is no more that little lad that wandered at Wolfsburg, took baby steps at Royal Charleroi, nurtured further at Lille, and arrived in Naples unsure of his decision to go to Italy instead of England.
Osimhen is now one of the best strikers in the world, the best in Italy, and, at the moment, the most sought-after forward on the planet, with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United among others queuing up for his signature.
It is that excellent quality that Osimhen’s mask epitomises for Napoli fans and why they want to share a deep connection with it by owning a replica of the mask.
Interestingly, it is a mask that could take on a life of its own in Napoli’s history should Osimhen fire the Neapolitans to their first Serie A title in over 30 years.
And with Napoli boasting a healthy lead over their closest challengers – that is looking like a done deal.