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Xavi praises Osimhen, labels him a pivotal player in CL clash

Posted : 21 February 2024

Barcelona coach Xavier Hernández has expressed admiration for Victor Osimhen, recognizing him as a standout player in the Napoli squad ahead of their crucial Champions League match at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday night.

The Nigerian international is expected to feature after fully participating in Tuesday's training session with Napoli, overcoming fitness concerns that sidelined him during the weekend's 1-1 draw.

Despite a relatively subdued performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, where converting chances proved challenging, the current African Footballer of the Year maintains an impressive club-level record, contributing to eleven goals in eighteen games across all competitions this season.

Osimhen, at 25, stands as one of the most sought-after center forwards globally, drawing interest from elite clubs like Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.

Recognizing Osimhen's prowess as a top-class finisher and his ability to trouble defenses with speed, Xavier Hernández emphasizes the necessity for his players, particularly defenders, to stay alert.

In addition to Osimhen, the Barcelona legend also praised Osimhen's teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has recently been linked with a potential move to Barcelona.

In a pre-match press conference, Xavi stated, as quoted by Barca Universal: "Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia are top-level players. Kvaratskhelia is one of the best players in his position. We’ll need to pay attention to him. It is crucial for us to defend well tomorrow. It’s difficult to stop Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen, and Politano."

Barcelona faces defensive challenges going into the match, having conceded 21 goals in their last ten games across all competitions.


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