The Nigerian striker led his team to their first Serie A title after 33 years and became the league’s top scorer as the first African player to do so.
It was supposed to be a quiet dinner with Victor Osimhen a night before Napoli finally received their Scudetto title. We sat in the restaurant of the Hotel Paradiso as fireworks lit up the sky over the sea across the Amalfi Coast this weekend of the Italian Republic Day.
The meal was Neapolitan steak with fries, mozzarella cheese and cubed sauteed potatoes with vino tinto in crystal glasses.
Sat beside Victor was his older brother Andrew, across was his agent Roberto Calenda, his childhood friends from Nigeria, three Nigerian journalists Lolade Adewuyi, Oma Akatugba and Adebayo ‘Pooja’ Suleiman, and Napoli journalist Vincenzo Credendino and his younger brother Emanuele.
A woman spotted him at the reception and asked him to take a picture with her son. Soon her husband joined in, and before you could say Ojuelegba, a crowd of about 30 had formed in the lobby, waiting their turn for photos with the latest Capocannoniere (Golden Boot winner) of the Serie A.
Moments before, Inter Milan had won their final game of the season 1-0 against Torino, but Lautaro Martinez had failed to add to his 21 goals. It meant that Victor’s 25 goals were no longer reachable, and he had become the highest goals scorer for the 2022/23 season. It was the first time since Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2008/09 that a top scorer had also won the Scudetto, the league title.
“I am one of the proudest persons this season,” Victor said. “I wake up every morning with fulfilment. That’s why you see the celebration as different from the others because when you’re used to success, it is like (it loses its value).
“When you want success, and you finally get it, you know (its true meaning).
“A lot of people put Napoli as the underdogs this season. And when you come up from nothing to win something prestigious, you smell everything.
“You want to celebrate every time. In my house (the fans) put the fireworks on every day. It is incredible.”
Victor Osimhen has been named Serie A’s best striker of the season after his feat leading the team to their first title after 33 years. He was also awarded a national honour by the Nigerian government, a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) for his services to football.