Osimhen Receives Globe Soccer Award Trophy
Super Eagles and Napoli star striker, Victor Osimhen, has received the trophy for the best young player prize at the 2022 Globe Soccer Award.
The former Lille of France forward beat Gavi and Valverde to scoop the prize in a ceremony held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai in November 2022.
In a post on his Twitter handle on Wednesday, Osimhen said he just received the trophy which he won two months ago and displayed it in a photo accompanying his post.
“Just Receive The @Globe_Soccer Award For The Power Horse Emerging Player Of The Year,Thank You For The Recognition,And To Those That Have Been Supporting Me Through The Years,I Appreciate Y’all.GOD Is The Greatest,” the Nigerian international wrote.
Following the winter break, Osimhen continued with his top form in the Italian Serie A, scoring one of the goals in Napoli’s 2-0 victory over Sampdoria on Sunday.
The goal made him the first player in the league to score 10 goals so far in the season and ensured Napoli remained top of the Serie A table with 44 points ahead of Juventus and AC Milan who both have 37 points each.
Barcelona Face Real Madrid In Copa Clasico Semi Final
A wounded Barcelona face Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Thursday hunting for a Clasico win to make coach Xavi Hernandez’s gamble at a critical moment of the season pay off.
Despite missing injured duo Pedri and Ousmane Dembele, Xavi rested other important players in the 1-0 defeat by Almeria on Sunday, prioritising the Clasico cup clash and spurning the chance to stretch their league lead to 10 points on Madrid.
Adding to Barca’s unease ahead of the Clasico, top scorer Robert Lewandowski has suffered a hamstring strain and is set to miss out, although Ansu Fati is poised to return.
Delivering what Xavi described as the “worst performance of the season” at Almeria, Barcelona suffered their second consecutive defeat after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United at Old Trafford.
A third defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu could send the team into a spiral, with their seven-point La Liga lead strong but not unassailable.
The Catalans visit the Santiago Bernabeu a day after Osasuna welcome Athletic Bilbao to El Sadar in the other Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.
“We have to change our mindset if we want to win the league and the cup,” warned Xavi after El Bilal Toure’s goal inflicted only their second Liga defeat of the season.
We have no excuse, we didn’t show the desire to play, intensity, that is what worries me the most.
“You can slip up, but you have to show passion and desire and in the first half we lacked that.”
Anything other than a good result in the capital will raise further questions about the coach’s decision to rest Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Raphinha and Alejandro Balde against Almeria.
– Instant results –
Xavi has said if his team win La Liga but not the Copa del Rey it would still count as a good season, with the Spanish Super Cup already in the bag.
However, losing this double-header against their arch-rivals would allow further doubts about the project to creep in, fuelling Xavi’s detractors after spending big last summer.
Barcelona brought in several players, including striker Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich as well as Kounde and Raphinha, and the outlay they made and the financial maneuvering they did to get the transfers through demands instant results.
Real Madrid saw their disappointing derby draw against Atletico on Saturday transformed into a better result by Barcelona’s stumble.
With one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals after an emphatic 5-2 win over Liverpool at Anfield, Carlo Ancelotti’s side can turn their attention to getting revenge after their Spanish Super Cup humbling.
Barcelona ran out emphatic 3-1 winners in Saudi Arabia in January as they won the first trophy of the Xavi era.
On that day, the Catalans, desperate to end their silverware drought, seemed far more up for the fight than Madrid but the Copa del Rey is a different story.
The last time Madrid lifted the trophy was a 3-1 win over Barcelona in 2014 final at Mestalla when Gareth Bale scored a magnificent solo goal.
Los Blancos are without injured trio David Alaba, Rodrygo and Ferland Mendy.
“Now the Cup is the most important thing because it’s the next game and we are very close to a title,” said Carlo Ancelotti after Madrid’s derby draw.
“We’re 270 minutes away from winning a title.”
Chelsea Continue Poor Form With Home Loss To Southampton
Chelsea continued with their poor form this season after a 1-0 loss to Southampton at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Blues’ best effort at finding the net was from substitute Raheem Sterling, and it was hacked away from under the bar by Armel Bella-Kotchap.
That came after a difficult first half for the home team who struggled to stamp their authority on the game.
It ended in painful circumstances for them as James Ward-Prowse gave Southampton the lead in added time, curling a free-kick from the edge of the box beyond the reach of Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the bottom corner.
Chelsea tried to fight back after the break, with substitute Sterling and Noni Madueke threatening from wide, but couldn’t find a way past the Saints defence in an increasingly frustrating second half, which was halted for a long time as Cesar Azpilicueta received treatment after catching a boot in the face.
The Chelsea skipper would later leave the pitch on a stretcher, and ended in acrimonious circumstances with a flurry of bookings as tempers flared.
Nigeria’s Osimhen Shoots Napoli 18 Points Clear In Serie A
Napoli took another step towards their first Serie A title since 1990 on Friday as stars Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen shot the leaders to a 2-0 win at Sassuolo and 18 points clear.
It looks only a matter of time before Luciano Spalletti’s rampant side secure a Scudetto dreamed of by Napoli fans since the days of Diego Maradona.
And on Spalletti’s 1,000th match as a manager his team made no mistake at a Mapei Stadium which with the away section closed saw an invasion of Napoli fans in the home supporters’ stands.
A seventh league win on the bounce leaves their rivals trailing way off in the distance, a whopping 62 points collected in 23 matches underlining their dominance of Italy’s top flight.
The best second-placed Inter Milan can do this weekend is maintain the pre-match gap of 15 points by beating off-form Udinese on Saturday night.
“The only thing we can do is keep doing the things we do well,” said Spalletti to DAZN.
“Sassuolo are a team that know how to play football, you can’t dominate for 90 minutes, but in the second half we did a lot of things really well.”
Napoli’s attentions now turn to their Champions League trip to Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday, a run in Europe’s top club competition surely a possibility given the superb form of their attacking jewels Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen.
“Eintracht are a really good team, they have a lot of pace… they attack spaces really quickly and have technically gifted players,” added Spalletti.
“They’ve got more experience than us of playing knockout football, last season they had a run in the Europa League… that’s what we trying to do.”
Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen on target
Kvaratskhelia got the ball rolling in the 11th minute in Reggio Emilia with his 10th goal of an incredible debut Serie A season, a beautiful run and low finish which highlighted why Europe’s biggest clubs are already eyeing the Georgian wing wizard.
Osimhen, who had already hit the post, then doubled the hosts’ lead in the 33rd minute when he collected Amir Rrahmani’s pass, spun Martin Erlic and rifled home from an improbable angle past Andrea Consigli.
The pair have now scored 28 of Napoli’s 56 league goals, Osimhen netting nine times in eight league matches since the turn of the year.
Sassuolo couldn’t repeat their heroics of recent weeks against ailing champions AC Milan and Atalanta but put up a decent fight on Friday night despite having to play without injured star Domenico Berardi.
Alessio Dionisi’s side, who are seven points above the relegation zone in 15th, caused Napoli problems and struck the post through Armand Lauriente just after Kvaratskhelia’s opener.
The match might have taken on a different look had Lauriente’s close-range finish not been ruled out for Gregoire Defrel interfering with play from an offside position.
Napoli fans were worried about Osimhen’s condition when he was subbed with six minutes to go, but Spalletti said after the match that there “no particular issue” with the Nigeria forward.
That left the only low note on an otherwise perfect night being super-sub Giovanni Simeone having a late goal chalked off for Hirving Lozano being offside before swinging in his perfect cross for the Argentine forward.