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Man Utd and Arsenal target had to search rubbish dumps for shoes as a child as remarkable rise reveal

Chris Byfield

| Last updated 

Man Utd and Arsenal target had to search rubbish dumps for shoes as a child as remarkable rise reveal

Manchester United and Arsenal target Victor Osimhen explained his remarkable rise from abject poverty and grief to superstardom in a throwback interview.

The 24-year-old’s heroics in Italy have seen him become one of the most sought-after players in world football, with Arsenal and United reportedly among his many admirers.

Osimhen has netted 21 goals in all competitions for Napoli, including 19 in Serie A, with Luciano Spalletti’s side 15 points clear at the top of Serie A and on course to win their first Scudetto since 1990.

And while the player has been tipped to move to the Premier League in the summer, he won’t come cheap. The Nigerian international will reportedly cost more than the Premier League record £106million Chelsea paid to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.


However, long before Osimhen was linked with the world’s richest and most successful sides, he was living in poverty, searching rubbish dumps for shoes as a child.

Victor Osimhen’s humble beginnings

Speaking to France Football in 2019 Osimhen detailed his difficult upbringing growing up in Nigeria’s capital, Lagos.

The striker explained: "Where I grew up, people live on the other side of an open dump.


"With my friends, we went there every Friday or Sunday to find shoes. We stayed there a long time. It was funny! We saw it as a game but when you think about it … It was always a fight.


"Sometimes you see, you found yourself with a Nike on the right foot and then you start looking for the other foot … And finally, you find the left foot and it’s a Reebok! My sister patched everything up and it was good. It was survival.

"I lost my mom in October, I do not even remember the year. I was small. Three months later, my father lost his job. It was very hard for our family.


"My brother sold sports newspapers, my sister (sold) oranges in the street and me, bottled water in Lagos in the middle of the traffic.

"We had to survive so we stuck together. In the evening, we were all together and we gathered the money on the table. We gave everything to our big sister and she made food and organised everything.

"When I signed in Wolfsburg, I didn't buy anything for myself with my bonus. I immediately bought a house in Lagos for my father.

"I gave money to my brothers and sisters, and today, everyone is okay in their businesses. It makes me happy to know that they have enough to eat.


"They always help me and it is normal I want to change their lives."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Arsenal, Napoli, Victor Osimhen, Nigeria

Chris Byfield
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