Victor Osimhen: Fans Compare AFCON Difficulty to Serie A As Napoli Star Scores Hattrick vs Sassuolo

Victor Osimhen: Fans Compare AFCON Difficulty to Serie A As Napoli Star Scores Hattrick vs Sassuolo

Ero Samson
updated at February 29, 2024 at 3:51 PM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Sassuolo logo
Napoli logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Emilio Nsue logo
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Equatorial Guinea logo
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
  • Victor Osimhen failed to live up to expectations at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • The forward has since returned to his traditional form of goalscoring with Napoli
  • Fans have drawn comparisons between the Cup of Nations and the Italian Serie A

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) witnessed an array of standout performances from numerous players.

From Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue to Nigeria’s William Troost-Ekong, several players showcased their prowess for their respective nations.

However, among the names of those who failed to live up to expectations at the tournament stands Victor Osimhen. The marquee Super Eagles forward, who kicked off the tournament with a spectacular header against Equatorial Guinea, struggled to find the back of the net for the remainder of the showpiece.

Victor Osimhen, AFCON, Napoli, Nigeria, CAF, Super Eagles.
Victor Osimhen during the CAF Africa Cup of Nations final match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Image: Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

While some football pundits attributed his lacklustre goal tally to Nigeria's defensive approach, the stark reality of him squandering the most big chances at the tournament weakens this argument.

Nevertheless, upon his return to Napoli after the conclusion of AFCON, the reigning 2023 African Footballer of the Year swiftly regained his scoring touch. Osimhen netted five goals in his first three appearances post-AFCON, including a memorable hat-trick against Sassuolo.

His remarkable resurgence has prompted the question of whether the AFCON is a more difficult competition compared to the Italian Serie A.

Nonetheless, amid the absence of a clear-cut explanation from football analysts regarding Osimhen's form, fans have taken to social media to debate the relative difficulty of both tournaments.

Fans compare Serie A to AFCON

@NkemakolamM disagreed with the notion that the AFCON is difficult, stating,

"Nah, it's a difference in managers."

@Dave_Lummy5 firmly asserted,

"AFCON is truly hard. Even for a tournament."

@awofoduoluwaseu analysed the situation, blaming the Super Eagles' coach for not maximising Osimhen's potential, saying,

"It is the Super Eagles coach's inability to harness his true potential by playing wide players too far from him, rather than narrowing the gap and feeding him with the midfielders orchestrating play from the Middle that caused it."

@ZicoDudu emphasised the lack of support for Osimhen from the midfield, stating,

"Victor didn't get adequate supply from our midfielders."

However, while the exact reason for Osimhen's remarkable return to form remains uncertain, Napoli fans are delighted to see their star player back in top shape as they pursue a UEFA Champions League spot.

Peseiro explains Nigeria’s formation at AFCON

Sports Brief in another report highlighted that the coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Jose Peseiro, has explained the reason for his defensive approach at the AFCON.

The 63-year-old stressed the fact that his team's defensive fragility was a significant factor in his sudden formation switch.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).