Victor Osimhen is the current African footballer of the year and is critical to Nigeria’s quest for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title in Ivory.
After scoring 26 goals to help Napoli to a first Italian league title in 33 years, Osimhen became the first Nigerian to win the CAF’s men’s award since former Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.
Osimhen has been a phenomenal success in Italy since joining Napoli from French club Lille in 2020.
He has scored 57 goals in 96 Serie A matches and helped the club win the league in 2022-23.
Victor Osimhen Facial Injury in 2021
In November 2021, Victor Osimhen suffered a horrific head injury and a fractured skull and eye socket in Napoli’s 3-2 loss to Inter Milan after colliding with Inter Milan defender Skriniar at San Siro.
According to his doctor, Osimhen had many fractures in his cheekbone and orbital bone, which necessitated surgery with the implantation of six plaques and 18 screws on his face.
This forced the Super Eagles Striker to miss the 2022 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
He underwent immediate surgery and had six plaques and 18 screws attached to his face and was forced to miss the 2022 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
In an interview with Radio CRC, Dr. Gianpaolo Tartaro, Osimhen’s surgeon noted that Osimhen was lucky to have survived the injury with his eyes intact.
He said, “The orbital bone stopped just in time because Osimhen could even have lost his sight.
“That bone could indeed have caused other problems, but fortunately some factors helped us, and the eye was able to go back into its socket.
“When we performed the surgery, we used the best quality plaques in the world and had to study very carefully where to place them, so there was protection should the player have to head the ball.”
Osimhen to Wear the Mask in his Entire Career
Victor Osimhen, explained that he will have to wear a mask for the rest of his career for safety reasons.
Speaking in an interview with Brilla FM, the Napoli forward, who is currently on national duty with the Super Eagles at the African Cup of Nations, in Ivory Coast, said it is dangerous for him to play without his mask.
He said even with the mask he got a bloody face after the opposition’s goalkeeper hit his face the last match he played against Cagliari.
“I have to wear the mask for the rest of my career because I have screws that actually pass through my jaws and face. I still have them till now,” he said.
“The last match I played against Cagliari — when I headed the ball, I had blood on my face, and the goalkeeper also hit my face, and there was blood that was even with the mask on.
“So, it is really dangerous for me to play without using the mask, of course.”
Trademark for Victor Osimhen
Osimhen returned from the injury with a protective mask that has now become sort of a trademark such that it has become popular among the Azzurri fans.
Many fans in Italy idolize the Nigeria striker because of his mask, as well as his goalscoring exploits on the pitch.
Victor Osimhen is unarguably among the best young strikers on the planet. However, aside from his goalscoring exploits, what makes him stand out is his mask.
Fans and supporters around the world now know Osimhen as Serie A’s ‘masked striker’.
And although he still wears the mask to protect himself from severe injuries as stated earlier, nothing stops him from sporting a mask beyond his recovery from injury.
Osimhen joins the likes of famous players who have donned the mask after recovering from injuries like Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Petr Cech, amongst others.
The Super Eagles have reached the quarterfinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after Ademola Lookman scored twice to beat a disappointing Cameroon 2-0 in the last 16 in Abidjan.