Champions LeagueNigerian Footballers Abroad

Napoli Vs FC Barcelona: Victor Osimhen available for selection

Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen is available for Napoli selection to face FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash on Wednesday, February 21.

Osimhen missed the clubs recent Serie A match against Genoa, few days after returning from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, where he helped Nigeria to a runners-up finish.

Osimhen arrived back in Naples on Thursday night, and so watched from the stands Napoli’s game against Genoa on Saturday, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

However, the 25-year-old striker appears ready to return to action vs FC Barcelona.

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen

A lot has changed at the club since his last game, back in 2023. The biggest is the arrival of a new manager, Francesco Calzona who replaced Walter Mazzarri with a plan to reset things at the club.

Calzona in his first press conference shared update on the star strikers availability for the FC Barcelona match when he said: “Osimhen has been in full training and we’ll assess him in the final training session.”

Also, in a video shared on Napoli’s official platform, Osimhen was seen training with his teammates at the club’s training facility, showing signs of full fitness and readiness for the match against FC Barcelona.

The reigning Italian Serie A champions host Barcelona at the Stadio Diego Maradona in the round of 16 first-leg first leg encounter .

With Osimhen back in contention, Napoli will seek to secure a favorable result on home turf before traveling to Spain for the second leg in three weeks’ time.

Last season, the club reached the competitions quater-final for the first-time and will hope to spark a turnaround to their poor season with a win against FC Barcelona to set foundation for similar height this year.

For Osimhen and the rest of the Napoli squad, a first-leg win will be very important against Xavi’s men.

Especially for the African Player of the Year, eyes will be on him to see how much impact he plays towards helping the teams European cause this season.

Prospective summer suitors like PSG will watch closely to see if he can excell against big-guns like Barcelona as they prepare for a big summer transfer decision.

READ ALSO: Napoli replace Mazzarri with Calzona

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