Luca Toni: 2006 World Cup Winner Ranks Victor Osimhen Above Dusan Vlahovic in Defensive Play

Luca Toni: 2006 World Cup Winner Ranks Victor Osimhen Above Dusan Vlahovic in Defensive Play

Robert Abong'o
updated at March 4, 2024 at 4:31 AM
In this article:
L. Toni
-FItaly logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Dušan Vlahović logo
D. Vlahović
Juventus logoFSerbia logo
Italian Serie A logo
ITA Serie A
Italy
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Italy
Italy
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  • Luca Toni rates Victor Osimhen higher defensively than Dusan Vlahovic
  • The World Cup winner said being a number 9 isn't solely about scoring
  • Osimhen played a crucial role in tracking back for Nigeria at AFCON 2023

World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, Luca Toni, has rated Victor Osimhen higher than Dušan Vlahović in terms of defensive prowess.

The assessment came ahead of Napoli's highly anticipated encounter with Juventus in Serie A at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday, March 3.

Giacomo Raspadori clinched victory for Francesco Calzona's side with an 88th-minute goal, edging them closer to securing a European spot.

Juventus forward Dušan Vlahović and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. Photos: Stefano Guidi and Emanuele Perrone
Dušan Vlahović and Victor Osimhen are gaming two of Serie A's most prolific strikers. Photos: Stefano Guidi and Emanuele Perrone
Source: Getty Images

Despite Wojciech Szczesny saving Osimhen's late penalty, Raspadori pounced on the rebound.

Federico Chiesa appeared to rescue a draw for Massimiliano Allegri's men with an 81st-minute goal, slotting a low strike into the bottom corner. Earlier, Napoli had taken the lead through a deflected Khvicha Kvaratskhelia volley.

Toni stressed that being a number 9 in modern football isn't solely about scoring goals but also incorporating various technical aspects, including defensive contributions.

Vlahović has an impressive goal tally of fifteen in the Italian top-flight, but Osimhen's return from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has seen him in top form, bagging five goals in three games.

"In modern football, the pressure starts right from the first striker, it's no longer like it used to be. Osimhen, also due to his phsical exuberance, in this sense works more than Vlahovic," Toni told Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted on All Nigeria Soccer.

Napoli vs Juventus

Napoli entered the showdown unbeaten in their last three matches, highlighted by a resounding 6-1 victory over Sassuolo, where the Nigeria striker notched a hat-trick. The Super Eagles forward sits fourth in the Serie A Golden Boot race with 11 goals this season.

Chelsea asked to pay €130 million for Osimhen

Sports Brief reported that Napoli demanded €130 million from Chelsea for Victor Osimhen.

The 25-year-old is top on the shortlist of strikers for the Blues this summer as they seek to reinforce their attack after an underwhelming 2023/24 season.

The club is reportedly ready to cash in on Osimhen but will accept nothing but his entire release clause.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team