AFCON 2024: Osimhen meeting idol Drogba lights up Chelsea transfer rumours

Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba shared a moment on Thursday evening at AFCON 2024.

The pair were captured in the players' tunnel before the home team and Nigeria clash in an African Cup of Nations Group A clash.

The game ended in favour of the Super Eagles, but they were seen exchanging words and laughs before and after the game inside the players' tunnel as the two football giants faced off.

Drogba, who is also an ambassador for this year's Africa Cup of Nations, officially known as AFCON 2023, was a special guest for the much-anticipated Ivory Coast vs Nigeria match.

AFCON 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

The Drogba-Osimhen meeting

A viral video which has been making the rounds showed Ivorian legend Drogba and Osimhen embracing and exchanging some pleasantries in the tunnel a few minutes before kick-off.

The pair had a chat before the two nations went on to trade tackles in a game that saw the Super Eagles show significant improvement and ultimately fly away with the three points.

Another visual seen after the game showed Drogba embracing and congratulating the Nigerian forward for the win in a game he was voted as the man of the match.

Their meeting at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium appears to be a first since Osimhen declared on the night he was voted the African player of the year in the male category that the former Chelsea star was his idol.

The visual has left memorable photographic evidence and has, naturally, sparked a lot of talk about what it could mean.

What was said in the Drogba-Osimhen meeting?

Osimhen, who emerged as the Serie A top scorer last season, is absent from club football with Napoli this month.

Many people had dubbed the Drogba-Osimhen meeting as ‘perfect timing', and for most Chelsea fans, it is believed that Drogba had been able to convince the Napoli man about a potential move to Stamford Bridge.

The quick meeting wasn't audible enough for us to be able to ascertain that, but it sure looks possible from the body language.

In a recent interview, Osimhen shared how he was being inspired as a child by the Ivorian legend.

“Life is surprising, when I was younger, I never missed a Didier Drogba match. I imitated each of his gestures, and I did his celebration when I scored against my friends,” he said.

“Participating in AFCON in the native land of my idol is an honour for me. I have the impression of being reconnected in a certain way with the kid from Olusosun that I was and who had a lot of dreams, including that of one day being Africa champion.”

Osimhen-Chelsea transfer drawing near?

Now, Osimhen could become Drogba's successor at Stamford Bridge. Drogba won four Premier League titles and FA Cup trophies as well as a UEFA Champions League title during his time at the Bridge.

His signing is something that Chelsea is believed to have been working on in recent times, but it appears they still have to wait for a little longer.

This after Osimhen committed to a new contract in Naples through to 2026, but the talking about a transfer to England at some point is not stopping.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.