Finidi George’s Advice to Victor Osimhen After He Joined Napoli Emerge

Finidi George’s Advice to Victor Osimhen After He Joined Napoli Emerge

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at May 8, 2024 at 12:55 PM
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  • Finidi George will coach striker Victor Osimhen in the Nigeria national team
  • The Super Eagles legend foresaw Osimhen's success when he joined Napoli
  • Last season, Osimhen led Napoli to their first Serie A title in three decades

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Finidi George is getting ready to take charge of his first Nigeria match as permanent coach next month.

The former Real Betis star has an opportunity to coach some of Africa's top talents like Victor Osimhen and Victor Boniface.

The Super Eagles coach had words of encouragement for Osimhen in 2020 after he moved to Napoli.

Victor Osimhen, Finidi George, Napoli, Nigeria, AFCON, Serie A, Lille
Nigeria coach, Finidi George, predicted Victor Osimhen's success at Napoli. Photos by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista and Nigeria (Instagram).
Source: Getty Images

The 25-year-old was still an up-and-coming striker in Europe when Napoli signed him for a club-record fee. The Nigerian has lived up to the price tag and probably surpassed expectations.

The former Wolfsburg star is playing his fourth season at the club, perhaps his last. The four campaigns have been hugely successful.

He has made 131 appearances at the club and scored 76 goals. The 2022/23 season remains the best season of his career, per Transfermarkt.

He scored 26 goals and won the Serie A and the Golden Boot, becoming the first African to do so. The 2022/23 Serie A title was Napoli's first in 33 years.

These performances earned him the 2023 African Footballer of the Year award, the first for a Nigerian since Nwankwo Kanu won it in 1999.

His form has dropped this season, but he remains one of the best strikers in world football. He has been linked to a transfer to PSG, Chelsea, Arsenal, and other European clubs.

Finidi's message to Osimhen

Finidi and Osimhen were close to lifting the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations title earlier this year but fell short in the final.

The 53-year-old had some words for his compatriot when he sealed his transfer to Napoli in 2020.

“It’s a good move for Victor and every transfer has its own way of negotiations, but I’m happy everything went well for him. If he’s happy then we are all happy for him,” George said via GOAL.

The Champions League winner dismissed doubts about Osimhen's ability to adapt, comparing him to Ronaldo.

“Why now? He can adapt. Ronaldo, for example, shone in Spain before going to Italy, and everyone thought he going to struggle because of the style of play, but he adapted."
“So I think Victor can adapt to the style of football in Italy as well, and I believe he will surely do well,” he concluded.

Finidi was right; Osimhen adapted and did exceptionally well. Can they lead Nigeria to glory?

What Finidi wants to see in Nigeria

Sports Brief earlier reported on Finidi listing attributes he would love to see in a Super Eagles team.

He made these comments years ago while critiquing Nigeria's lack of identity. He advocated the need for culture and identity in the team.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.