Napoli star, Victor Osimhen, was conferred with the National Award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). The national honour was bestowed on the 24-year-old by former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Sunday afternoon.
Recall that on Sunday, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced a total of 339 distinguished Nigerians and friends of Nigeria nominated as the recipients of the 2023 national awards.
The presidential recognition comes as appreciation for Osimhen’s contributions to the Nigeria’s football since bursting into international scene during his U-17 days.
Prior to the conferment of the national honour, Osimhen helped Napoli win the Serie A title, as well as finding the net in Sunday’s league match against Bologna, Soccernet reports.
He was an integral part of the Golden Eaglets that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. There, he finished as the highest goalscorer, winning the Golden Boot along with the Silver Ball for his awe-inspiring performances.
His 10 goals in seven matches broke the long-standing record of nine goals in a single tournament previously held jointly by Frenchman Florent Sinama Pongolle and Ivorian Souleymane Coulibaly. That feat also earned him the 2015 CAF Youth Player of the Year prize.
Since making his debut for the Super Eagles in 2017, the Edo-born goal machine has gone on to score 15 goals in his 23 appearance for the three-time African kings.
His tally puts him in ninth position in the country’s all-time top goalscorers list with the best goal-per-game ratio (0.68) of all players in the top 10.
Despite being linked with several top European clubs following his impressive goal scoring season at Lille – where he scored 18 goals in 38 appearances, the Nigerian moved to Naples in a deal claimed to be worth €70 million.
In Naples, he hit the ground running scoring two hat-tricks in his first two games for the club back in 2020, scoring three against L’Aquila and Teramo in the pre-season games.
“The football industry has been given ample recognition this time and we commend our father, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for this,” NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi said in a statement released by NFF media.
“The award to Osimhen means that even as a football player, you can be honoured by your country for exceptional service and also for the way you represent the country abroad.
“We are proud of Osimhen and what he has done and continues to do with Napoli SC in Italy and for the Super Eagles.”