Nigerian fans have hailed Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, for his fitness and seemingly unending energy after he was cleared alongside teammates Willian Troost-Ekong and Moses Simon following multiple dope tests by the Confederation of African Football at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
Most Nigerian fans online were confident Osimhen would pass the dope tests and they heaved a sigh of relief after the results were released by CAF.
The Napoli striker scored the Eagles opening goal at the tournament in the 1-1 stalemate versus Equatorial Guinea and was fouled for the penalty that gave Nigeria a 1-0 win over Ivory Coast. He then he put up an amazing fighting performance against Cameroon as they won 2-0 in a last-16 clash on Sunday.
He set up the first goal for Ademola Lookman and was a constant menace for the Cameroonians, before he was replaced by Paul Onuachu late in the game.
In Nigeria’s four games so far at the AFCON tournament, Osimhen played over 90 minutes in three games, while his lowest time on the pitch was 88 minutes in the game against Ivory Coast.
The 25-year-old is an assertive character on the pitch, always tracking back to assist the team defensively and is constant menace while pressuring opposition defences, which led to Nigeria’s first goal against Cameroon on Saturday.
Osimhen displayed strength and alertness to win possession off a stunned Indomitable Lions defender Oumar Gonzalez just outside the penalty area, then picked out Ademola Lookman with a diagonal pass to the right of the penalty area and the Atalanta winger’s shot squeezed in through Ondoa’s gloves to give Nigeria the lead.
A sports physician, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Osimhen’s power play was not “anything out of the ordinary.”
“Doping tests are either done randomly or targeted, the process by which they are done is determined by the sporting federation or the testing body on site. However, I don’t think his performances have been anything out of the ordinary for an athlete who trains and works on his fitness.
“I am sure he has been tested severally by the Italian FA. A doping test is just done so that everyone can play safe under football’s fair play rules.”
Nigerian fans took to social media platform, X, to hail the energetic striker amid the doping tests.
@ThefootwearG boasted about Nigeria’s natural abilities and not needing any drugs.
“So they decided to run an unexpected dope test for some of our players, Osimhen, Moses Simon and Ekong. Guess what ?? All results came out negative. We don’t need drugs to boost, we are natural,” he wrote.
A fan with the username, @ojimipeke, added, “Congratulations to Victor Osimhen on getting cleared by CAF as dope test came out negative.”
A few fans added that Osimhen’s hawking history while growing up in Lagos shaped his style of play.
Johnson Nnani wrote, “They are not ready. This means they’ve not been watching him since his age-grade competition days. The hustle has started since. This one isn’t Gegenpress (a tactic which relies on winning ball back).”
Chris Daramola stated, “They must be surprised by the height of Osimhen’s leap.”
Another fan with the username, @itz_danialves, wrote, “Osimhen is a beast. Imagine if he is playing in a team that has service like Bayern, City, Madrid he will so bang till he wins Balon d’Or. If they like make CAF, FIFA, UEFA, EU, UN , ECOWAS , NATO do dope test for am, OSIMHEN is divinely good as a player.”
@WangAustin2 believes his performance shouldn’t be surprising based on Osimhen’s background.
@UTDTreytips wrote, “True true, he played like someone who is on things on things but he has always been that energetic player, him no dey gree for anybody. He was fired up.”
The current CAF Player of The Year is expected to lead the line for the three-time champions when they face Angola in the quarter-finals on Friday.