Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has given an account of how ex-Chelsea player Didier Drogba had an impact on him.
The 21-year-old Nigerian joined the Partenopei from Lille in a big-money move and has subsequently been drawing a lot of attention as he is expected to play a huge role in Napoli’s ambitions and targets this season.
Osimhen has often cited Drogba – who built legendary status at Chelsea with his 164 goals and 14 titles that included a historic Champions League win – as the person he looked up to while growing up.
Osimhen explained that an unknown man who saw him train made comparisons between both of them and told him to go look up some of Drogba’s videos online.
“I grew up watching Didier Drogba play, he was an example for me,” Osimhen said on the Napoli YouTube channel. “One day I was training and a man called me asking if I knew who I play like. He told me to go to YouTube and see Didier Drogba.
“There I fell in love with his way of playing and the kind of person he is. From that moment, seeing Drogba play had a major impact on my game and helped me a lot.”
Drogba’s accomplishments at Chelsea and beyond saw him claim the African Footballer of the Year award twice (2006 and 2009) and Osimhen also has a desire to win the accolade which his fellow Nigerians in Nwankwo Kanu and Victor Ikpeba have been recipients of as well.
“My dream is to win the award for the best African footballer of the year,” he continued.
“I still have a long way to go and I am working towards this goal. I think I’m on the right path. It won’t be easy, but, as a person, having a family would be a dream. But I still have a lot of things to do so I don’t think about it now.
“Football is the only thing on my mind now. I want to focus on this here in Naples. There are many expectations for me and I will do everything to live up to it.”
Osimhen goes on to further reveal that he never envisaged getting to play for Napoli following his struggles at Wolfsburg, where his senior career kicked off in 2016, but was blighted by injuries and lack of form.
“For me, being here [at Napoli] is a dream that has come true,” he said.
“If someone had told me three years ago that I was going to play in one of the most important teams in the world I would not have believed it. Because I had a hard time in Wolfsburg, I was rejected by two Belgian teams, then I was signed by Charleroi. My life was very stressful at the time.
“About three years ago if someone had told me that I would have signed for Napoli it would have been impossible. Now I believe that nothing is impossible. I kept working and doing my thing and now I’m here. It is a dream come true and I am grateful for it.”