In 2021, Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen found himself awestruck and determined to acquire Cristiano Ronaldo’s jersey, venturing into the Juventus dressing room.
Despite having spent only a brief period with Napoli after moving from Ligue 1’s Lille, the Super Eagles striker encountered the five-time Ballon d’Or recipient during a match.
At just 22 years old, Osimhen, after witnessing Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty securing Napoli’s victory, gathered the courage to approach Ronaldo post-match.
This encounter resulted in a viral internet photo featuring Osimhen alongside the Portuguese star, drawing disappointment from Italian football pundit Umberto Chiariello.
Chiariello, via Area Napoli as per Daily Post, questioned Napoli’s decision to sign Osimhen, citing his lack of established status in the football scene.
“Did Osimhen understand that he is in Italian football and that he plays for Napoli? Why is he taking pictures with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gigi Buffon? Napoli has bet on him even though he is not an established player. Inter has gone to Romelu Lukaku, who is a safe use, while Aurelio De Laurentiis has invested in bets,” Chiariello said.
Expressing disappointment, Chiariello queried why Osimhen was engaging in photo opportunities with Ronaldo and Gigi Buffon, considering Napoli’s wager on him despite being an unestablished player.
He contrasted Napoli’s choice with Inter’s secure investment in Romelu Lukaku.
However, over the following two seasons, Osimhen defied Chiariello’s skepticism, leading Napoli to the Serie A title by scoring 26 league goals.
This success underscored the worth of Napoli’s €70 million investment in Osimhen, especially considering interest from Premier League giants like Chelsea and Manchester United.
Ultimately, Osimhen’s remarkable journey validated Napoli’s faith in him, elevating him to star status within the football realm.