Nigeria international Victor Osimhen has revealed how he struggled to make ends meet before he transformed into a professional player.
The 22-year-old, who is currently enjoying a good run of form for Serie A side Napoli where he has managed four goals from six appearances, has explained while growing up, he used to do menial jobs like cleaning gutters, fetching water to survive.
“Most people are familiar when I say this because they have come through even worse [situations] than mine and where I grew up, nothing is promised there because whatever you want to get, you have to work so hard for it,” he said as quoted by Head Topics.
“I remember when I was growing up, I was cleaning the gutters for 20 Naira, for my landlord and did some cleaning jobs for my neighbours close to my house, fetch water for 80 Naira, I think.
“I found pleasure in doing these things because I believed when I worked so hard to get this money, it was important for me. I had consciousness on how to spend this money and help my family.
“While growing up, my brother was selling newspapers, my sister oranges. I was in the traffic with water and I’d had to chase cars, give them water to get the money. I feel like these struggles helped me in life.
“I am grateful for where I am today because of what I’d been through, it shaped me into the man I am. I am really grateful to God for that.”
On his journey to stardom, the former Lille striker said: “It all started like a dream, a boyhood dream from the slum and I feel like I have achieved this feat, it’s one of my biggest achievements in life.”
His superb showing for the Partenopei this season so far, has seen him receive praise from several quarters with the latest coming from former Nigeria player Patrick Paschal.
“Osimhen is one player that I have followed from his days with the U17 national team and I have seen his game evolve so much and grown to become one of the first names on Gernot Rohr’s team sheet. I am happy with the rate he is developing,” Paschal said.
“He is fast, good with his head and uses both legs and blessed with a nose for scoring goals. Osimhen is not the kind of traditional centre-forward that hangs around the penalty box waiting for long deliveries to score goals; he falls back to help his defenders and his holdup play is excellent.
“The Napoli striker has added something I saw in recent Super Eagles matches. He leads the high press during games and he is a leader on the pitch and dressing room. He is really improving every time in the Italian league and Super Eagles, this I think is good for his career and Nigeria.”
Osimhen will hope to keep his place in the starting team when Napoli host Torino at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday.