By Daniel Edu
Napoli’s forward, Victor Osimhen, has entered the esteemed realm of Nigerian footballers who have achieved the illustrious 100-goal benchmark for their respective clubs, securing the first goal in the Serie A champions’ 2-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday.
In a twist of fate, Osimhen reached his 100th career goal against the same opponents on February 18, 2023. His journey began with his professional debut for Wolfsburg in 2017, followed by stints at RSC Charleroi and Lille. He then transitioned to Napoli in 2020, amassing an impressive 62 goals in 103 games for the Serie A team.
Prior to his Italian sojourn, the 24-year-old achieved 18 goals in 38 matches for Lille, adding 20 goals in 36 appearances for Charleroi.
Osimhen played a pivotal role in Napoli’s clinching of the Serie A title last season, marking their first victory in three decades.
While Victor Osimhen is the latest Nigerian to reach this remarkable goal-scoring milestone, it’s worth noting that several other Nigerians have also accomplished this feat.
Here’s an overview of other Nigerian footballers who’ve notched 100 goals or more while representing their clubs:
Leading the list is none other than Nigerian legend and former African Player of the Year, Yekini. He amassed a remarkable 483 goals in 673 appearances during his illustrious career, spanning over two decades. While most associated with Portugal’s Vitória de Setúbal, Yekini also played across six other countries. Notably, he scored 91 goals in just 114 appearances during his time in Portugal and contributed 217 goals in 243 appearances to Ivory Coast’s Africa Sports’ history. Yekini’s 154 goals for various Nigerian clubs include UNTL Kaduna (12), Shooting Stars (45), Abiola Babes (80), Julius Berger (10), and Gateway (7). With 37 international goals in 62 appearances, he remains Nigeria’s all-time top scorer.
Dessers achieved his 100-goal milestone on May 8, 2022. He garnered 113 club career goals, with his standout season being 2021/22, where he secured 20 goals across all competitions and claimed the Europa Conference League top scorer title.
A prolific striker, Ighalo amassed 219 goals while representing 12 different clubs, displaying his prowess on the field. He currently continues to shine in the Saudi Arabian Professional League.
A prominent figure in women’s football, Oshoala’s 134 club goals solidify her status as one of the sport’s deadliest strikers. Notably, she reached the 100-goal milestone for Barcelona in February 2023, a milestone she achieved in just 131 appearances.
Before retiring in 2021, Martins impressed with 183 goals in 488 appearances across a diverse range of leagues, including Serie A, Premier League, Bundesliga, Russian League, La Liga, MLS, and the Chinese Super League.
With 113 goals in the tough Premier League, Yakubu proved his prowess as a striker. He scored 42 goals for Portsmouth, 33 each for Everton and Middlesbrough, and an additional 18 goals while playing for Blackburn Rovers.
These Nigerian footballers have left an indelible mark on the global football stage, showcasing their exceptional talent and dedication throughout their careers.