I was cleaning gutters’ – Napoli star Victor Osimhen recalls childhood struggles

SUPER EAGLES and Napoli star, Victor Osimhen, in an interview with compatriot William Troost-Ekong on YouTube has opened up on his journey to becoming a professional footballer and how he did menial jobs to survive.

Osimhen, who was born in Lagos, completed an €80m deal to move from Lille to Napoli in the summer of 2020 becoming the most expensive African player of all time.

The 22-year-old, a product of Ultimate Strikers Academy made his breakthrough when he signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Wolfsburg in 2017.

He then moved to Belgium and France playing for Charleroi and Lille.

He scored 18 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions with the Ligue 1 side before moving to Napoli on a permanent deal.

In his debut season in Naples, the Nigeria international scored 10 goals in 24 Serie A appearances at Stadio Maradona.

However, in the video posted on the Troost-Ekong YouTube page, the Napoli striker opened up on his road to stardom.

“It all started like a dream, a boyhood dream from the slum,” the 22-year-old said in an interview with his compatriot Troost-Ekong on YouTube.

“I wanted to become a professional player, inspired by a lot of big legends like Didier Drogba, Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi, and many others.

“I feel like I have achieved this feat, it’s one of my biggest achievements in life,” the former striker added.

“Most people familiar, when I say this because they have come through even worse than mine and where I grew up nothing is promised there because whatever you want to get you to have to work so hard for it.

“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 neighbors close to my hours, fetch the water for 80 Naria I think.

“I found pleasure in doing these things because I believe 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 the 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’ve been through, it shaped me into the man I am. I am really grateful to God for that.”

Osimhen has had a great start to the 2021-22 campaign with seven goals in eight games across all competitions.

His contract with the Partenopei expires in June 2025.

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