Messi, Osimhen and 3 Other Assists Better Than The Goal After Napoli Striker’s Brilliance

Messi, Osimhen and 3 Other Assists Better Than The Goal After Napoli Striker’s Brilliance

Elijah Odetokun
updated at December 18, 2023 at 8:49 AM
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  • Victor Osimhen scored and assisted for Napoli in their win over Cagliari
  • His brilliant assist for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is getting the most credit
  • Africa's top star proved he is about more than just goals with the assist

Victor Osimhen is the reigning African footballer of the year, and he proved that with a man-of-the-match performance for Napoli in their 2-1 win over Cagliari.

The Nigerian international is getting widespread applause for his brilliant assist for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to put the defending Italian champions in the lead.

Victor Osimhen, Mario Rui, Napoli, Cagliari, Estadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples, Italy, Serie A.
Victor Osimhen celebrates with Napoli fans after scoring against Cagliari. Photo by Franco Romano.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at five other assists that were better than the goal, including two from Lionel Messi.

Five assists better than the goal

1. Osimhen vs Cagliari

The Nigerian striker received the ball in the box, controlled the ball with his leg, chested it down, and took three touches with his knee before moving between the defenders to present it on a plate for Kvaratskhelia, who slotted home beautifully.

2. Isak vs Everton

Unfortunately, this did not count as an assist because it took a touch off a defender on its way to the goal-scorer, Jacob Murphy. Isak received the ball on the halfway line and took out every obstacle on its way with brilliant dribbles and touches, particularly moving on the line and guiding the ball from going out.

3. Messi vs Croatia

Lionel Messi was at his usual best at the 2022 World Cup. Against Croatia, he destroyed one of the world’s best young defenders, Josko Gvardiol. He outran, outmuscled, and out-dribbled a player 15 years younger than him before crossing it to Julian Alvarez, who slotted it home.

4. Messi vs Netherlands

This is arguably one of the greatest assists of all time. Messi received the ball from Nahuel Molina and brilliantly laid a defence-splitting pass into the path of the Atletico Madrid defender, who only had to slot home to give Argentina the lead.

5. Fabregas vs Burnley

Cesc Fabregas is one of the best passers football has ever seen and spent some part of his career at Chelsea. On the opening day of the 2014/15 Premier League season against Burnley, he received a cross from Branislav Ivanovic and touched the ball once into the path of Andre Schurrle, who beat the offside trap to score.

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Messi opens up on his assist to Molina

Sports Brief previously reported on Messi's describing his assist to Molina during the game against the Netherlands, one of his best plays of the tournament.

The Argentine veteran admitted he had noticed the Atletico Madrid defender moving into space before he crafted the beautifully weighted pass onto his path.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.