Victor Osimhen, the African Player of the Year 2023 and a distinguished top-10 contender for the Ballon d’Or 2023, has laid bare the reason for his persistent use of a facial mask and his commitment to don it throughout his illustrious football journey.
The dynamic number 9, communicating from the Super Eagles of Nigeria training camp for AFCON 2023, candidly explained the decision to continue the use of the mask, even after recuperating from the initial incident that necessitated its adoption.
Osimhen said that screws were surgically placed in his eye socket region, and the mask serves as indispensable reinforcement and protection for this specific area. Even in a recent match, he encountered a blow to the face while challenging for an aerial cross, underscoring the ongoing risk of injuries around his facial region.
Emphasising the constant danger he faces, especially during physical play, Osimhen stressed that the mask serves as a vital safeguard against potential facial injuries.
Napoli’s team doctor during the 2022-2023 club football season, Roberto Ruggiero, corroborated Osimhen’s explanation, stating, “Osimhen is perfectly healed, he’s still wearing the protective mask because it gives him a sense of security, but he’s healed. He has his own balance and wants to wear it. Hopefully, this mask will be enough until he feels safe and takes it off. Not before then.”
On November 24, 2021, in Napoli’s 3-2 defeat at Inter Milan, Victor Osimhen endured an eye socket fracture in a clash with Milan Skriniar at the San Siro. This traumatic episode resulted in multiple facial fractures, prompting the insertion of 18 metal screws and six plaques to stabilise his facial features.