By Razeen Gutta
Victor Osimhen said that his decision to stay at Napoli instead of making a big money move to Saudi Arabia was better for his career.
Speaking on The Obi One Podcast, last season’s fifth-highest scorer in Europe said rejecting Al Hilal was not an easy task.
“That week was a huge decision for me to make but I put everything in God’s hands. The more I said no to them, the more they increased it,” he said.
Many thought that the £173 million (R3.4 billion) transfer to Saudi, where he would have played alongside Neymar, was on the verge of completion.
For Osimhen, though, it was never all about the money.
“They never gave up until the end of their own transfer window. I said before I played the first game of the season I really don’t want to go back thinking that it was going to change my life.
“But I had to make the decision what is good for my career, as much as we play football for the money.”
Having reached the Uefa Champions League quarter-final, Osimhen also helped Napoli to their first league title since 1990.
And while interest was also shown from Manchester United and Chelsea, whose shirts Osimhen owned as a youngster, Osimhen opted to stay in Italy.
“I don’t have a boyhood Premier League team but I have two jerseys from my brother because I played grassroots football.
“I had one with Chelsea and one with Manchester United – the one with Vodafone on it. A lot of my friends were Chelsea fans and a few Manchester United, but in Nigeria everyone watches Premier League.”
Osimhen also touched on the incredible feeling of having his idol Didier Drogba reach out to encourage him.
“Last season he texted me on Instagram. When it is someone you like and idolise so much, and when you see Didier Drogba with the verified page – at first I went on to his page to see if it was the real one.
“I took a screenshot of it a few times and then replied. The message was really inspiring and encouraging to me.
“That he is watching and rooting for me, I got motivation. Then getting your idol texting you motivation, that is a huge one for me also. It is like double motivation.”
Pictured above: Victor Osimhen.
Image source: @fabrizioromano