John Terry inspired Victor Osimhen, when malaria almost shattered his dreams … now he breaks records faster than Eden Hazard, while the newest star looks from Lille to Chelsea in the Champions League
- Lille ahead Victor Osimhen prepares for Wednesday evening [Chelsea]
- The Nigeria-born star grew up with bottles of water in the streets of Lagos
- He was crushed with Malaria in 2018 when he wanted to get his career on the right track
- Now he is one of Europe & # 39; s best prospects and breaking records in Ligue 1
It has been suggested that you will be hit by a meteorite rather than making it as a professional soccer player, but while the proverbial door slams in the face of many children chasing their dreams, it turns out that exactly what Victor Osimhen needed.
& # 39; I was not really for someone in particular, but when [John] Terry missed his punishment … I was so annoyed that I ran out of the bar.
OSIMHEN & # 39; S 2019-20 STATS
Goals: ] 6
Yellow cards: 1
& # 39; A lady simultaneously opened the door. Smash! I took it right in my face, I bled a lot
& # 39; My eyelid was split open … (laughs). I said to myself when they attached: & # 39; If I don't become a professional football player with the passion I have for this game, I will never forgive myself … & # 39; The road has been long. & # 39;
The idea that you're most likely to be hit by a meteorite than making it as a professional football player comes from a book written by Michael Calvin called & # 39; No Hunger In Paradise: The Players . The journey The Dream & # 39 ;, which looks at the number of young people in England that would probably go pro.
But Osimhen did not grow up in England with academies with four soccer fields, dozens of youth coaches, sports sciences and dentist centers.
The 20-year-old was born in Nigeria, where he sold bottled water in the middle of the busy streets of Lagos at a young age, while his brother distributed sports newspapers and his sister traded oranges so that they had enough money on the table to to survive.
The mother of the Lille forward died when he was very young and his father lost his job just a few months after her death so that Osimhen and his brothers and sisters had to take care of the family.
In his free time, the striker scrambled over open dumps for shoes to play football.
& # 39; Sometimes you see that you had a Nike on the right foot and then you went looking for the other foot. And finally you will find the left foot and it is a Reebok! My sister patched everything up and it was good, "It was survival, Osimhen told France Football.
Osimhen grew up at a lake-based academy called the Ultimate Strikers. It was here where he got people's attention
He was called by Nigeria for the Under-17 World Cup in 2015, where he scored 10 times to lead his country to a record fifth title.
Osimhen & # 39; s performances did not go unnoticed and Bundesliga side Wolfsburg promised to sign him up just after he turned 17.
His promise did not seem to materialize, however. He failed to score in one of his 16 appearances with Wolfsburg during his first season.
Osimhen & # 39; s first campaign ended with a shoulder operation before he had summer trials with Belgian clubs Zulte Waregem and Club Brugge while looking for loan moves.
But the then 18-year-old was hit by malaria and it affected his physical condition that impeded his chances of securing a move and prevented the two Belgian clubs from signing him.
Osimhen's dream was about to come to the rescue of another Belgian side, Charleroi, that summer and to offer him a seasonal contract.
This was the breakthrough Osimhen craved, and he seized the opportunity with both hands – scored 20 goals and set four for his teammates in all competitions.
This warned Bel 1 side Lille, who was about to lose the talisman Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal.
The manager of the French outfit, Christophe Galtier, found what he saw in Osimhen and signed the attacker for £ 10.6 million in the summer.
That brings us to today, where Osimhen is now one of the hottest young prospects in Europe.
He scored six in his first eight league games, making him the fastest that Lille signed to reach that number in more than 50 years – faster than the former Chelsea star and now Real Madrid Galactico, Eden Hazard .
Next for Osimhen is the former side of Hazard on Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. That is a world away from selling bottled water in Lagos.