By Anthony Nlebem.
According to Italian media outlet Calciomercato, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen returned to Italy after international duty with Nigeria without his facemask.
The 24-year-old, who has been in sensational form this term and is one of the most sort after strikers in Europe, has been wearing the mask, following a collision with Milan Skriniar during an Inter versus Napoli match in November 2021, which left him with multiple fractures to his left orbital and cheekbone.
Osimhen has scored 25 goals for Napoli this season to help the club to the top spot in the Italian league plus a first-ever UEFA Champions League quarter-final spot, where they have been drawn against Sunday’s opponents AC Milan.
According to the report, the Super Eagles forward lost the mask while returning to Italy after Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier March 27.
“The protective mask, in addition to guaranteeing greater safety, has also become a sort of superstitious object.
“Osimhen lost it on his return from Nigeria; he realised he no longer had it and considering the great value given to superstition in Naples, the alarm has already been raised among Neapolitan fans.
“In the meantime, the orthopaedic staff who built the mask will work to design a new one and deliver it to the player as soon as possible. It won’t be ready by Sunday when the match against Milan takes place and Victor Osimhen will have to use the old mask there.”
Aside from losing his mask, the former Lille star returned with a knock and out of AC Milan match on Sunday and doubtful for the quarter-finals of the Champions League this month.