Peseiro anoints Osimhen as Super Eagles AFCON talisman


Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro has anointed Victor Osimhen as the Super Eagles talisman for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, which is not surprising given that the Napoli striker has been in red-hot form for the national team over the last three years.

Of his 20 international goals for Nigeria, fifteen were scored in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying and he has finished as the top scorer in back-to-back qualification series, having netted five goals in the 2021 AFCONQ and ten in the 2023 AFCONQ.

Having missed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to injury, Osimhen will be one of the first names on the Super Eagles roster for the Africa Cup of Nations when it is announced in the coming days.

With Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo and Moses Simon not guaranteed spots in the starting lineup these days, Peseiro is confident that Osimhen has the credentials to become the captain of the Super Eagles.

Peseiro views Osimhen as one of the leaders in the Super Eagles and even handed him the armband for the last eight minutes of Nigeria’s 6-0 win over São Tomé and Príncipe in September, after Wilfred Ndidi was substituted.

Asked if Nigeria’s fate at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is in the hands of Osimhen, Peseiro said:”It’s fundamental, there’s no point in hiding. The team is strong, but Victor… is Victor. I met him at the Bernabeu before the match against Real Madrid, we chatted in the hotel and I saw him calm, recharged. I told him that he will be our flagship in Ivory Coast.

“He is a hard worker, a leader without an armband, a tireless person. I am sure that he will become the next captain of Nigeria”.

Osimhen was an understudy to one of his mentors, Odion Ighalo at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where he made one appearance as a substitute in a third place playoff against Tunisia.