Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has attributed the success he has achieved so far in his career to the impact of his former coach at youth level, Emmanuel Amuneke.
The former Tanzania coach guided the Golden Eaglets, which had Osimhen and the likes of Samuel Chukwueze and Kelechi Nwakali, to Nigeria’s record-extending 5th FIFA U-17 World Cup triumph in Chile in 2015, where the Lille goal poacher emerged the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals (a record in a single tournament). The former Barcelona winger also worked with Osimhen at the U-20 level briefly in 2016.
Looking back at his formative years, the 21-year-old forward admitted that the 1994 African Footballer of the Year instilled discipline in his game, adding that he will forever remain grateful to Amuneke.
“I will rewind back to when I joined the Under 17, in my own mentality I felt the coach (Emmanuel Amuneke) didn’t like me, I don’t know why, but for me, I thought he didn’t like me,” the former Wolfsburg man told the Super Eagles Youtube channel. “And every time he will speak to me, he’ll yell at me in the pitch.
“For me, I think when you have chosen this path, you have to be disciplined. Discipline is the first thing; whether you have a coach or you don’t have a coach guiding you. I think discipline is the first thing.
“And I am really happy I went through coach Emmanuel Amuneke. Everything I am today, everything I would be in the future, I attribute almost half of my success to him. Whatever I have achieved, he really set my path, he really made me understand that life is not all about talent. You have to work hard, you have to be disciplined, you have to listen to the coach’s instructions either on or off the pitch.
“I think other players that played under him can testify, not just me.”
Osimhen has scored 4 times for Nigeria at senior level in 9 appearances, netting 10 times for his French side Lille in 18 matches in all competitions this season.
He was recently shortlisted for the 2019 CAF Youth Player of the Year, alongside compatriot Chukwueze and eventual winner, Achraf Hakimi of Morocco.
Osimhen’s impressive goal scoring form this season has seen him attract interests from a lot of top European sides like Barcelona, Liverpool, Spurs.