Napoli striker Victor Osimhen said he is aiming to become the African Footballer of the Year one day.
The Nigeria international disclosed that the personal feat remains a target for him after claiming the Caf Youth Player of the Year award in 2015, thanks to his goalscoring heroics at the Fifa U17 World Cup in Chile that year.
After making two appearances in the Serie A this season, Osimhen is hoping to establish himself at Napoli and join Nwankwo Kanu, Victor Ikpeba and Emmanuel Amuneke as the only Nigerians to have won the prestigious continental honour.
Last season, the 21-year-old was named the best African player in the Ligue 1 after his contribution of 13 goals in 27 matches for Lille.
“My dream is to become the African Footballer of the Year,” Osimhen said in a video posted by Napoli. “I still have a long way to go but I think I’m working towards that direction and I think I am on the right path.
“As a man, it won’t be easy but I think having my own family will be a dream come true for me. I still have a long way to go so I’m not thinking about that now.
“Football is the only thing on my mind right now, I just want to keep focusing and of course, with my new club a lot is expected of me.”
Osimhen reflected on his ‘difficult’ childhood in Lagos, a state in the Southwestern part of Nigeria and how he beat all odds to take his football career to a professional level.
“If someone had told me three years ago that I would have played in one of the most important teams in the world, I wouldn’t have believed them,” he continued. “I had a difficult time at Wolfsburg, I was rejected by two Belgian teams and then I was picked up by Charleroi. My life was incredibly stressful at the time.
“About three years ago, if someone had told me I would have signed for Napoli, I would have replied that it would be impossible,” he added. “Now, I believe nothing is impossible. I have continued to work and do my thing and I’m here. It’s a dream come true and I’m grateful for that.”
A few months ago, the young forward announced the sudden death of his father and he is now an orphan having previously lost his mother at a very tender age.
Osimhen had to hawk through the streets of Lagos to survive the hustle and bustle of the city before he was scouted by the Nigeria youth team.
“I was born and raised in Lagos. I grew up in a place called Olosoun. I grew up in a very humble environment, it was very difficult for me,” the former Wolfsburg forward said.
“My mother passed away when I was very young. Three months after my mom died, my father lost his job. It was a difficult time for me, my brothers and sisters.
“I had to go and sell water on the busy streets of Lagos to survive. Me and my brothers. It was very difficult, as was the place I came from. It’s a place where there’s no hope, where no one tells you to believe in yourself.”
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