EXPLAINED: Why Osimhen could not win Serie A MVP award over Kvaratskhelia

Napoli's duo of Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen

EXPLAINED: Why Osimhen could not win Serie A MVP award over Kvaratskhelia

Ayoola Kelechi 07:22 - 03.06.2023

Many have debated why Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was named Serie A's Most Valuable Player ahead of Victor Osimhen, but the answer has been staring us all in the face for some time

Serie A’s end-of-season awards dug up some controversy after the league’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2022/23 season went to Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia ahead of Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen. 

Osimhen beaten to 2022/23 Serie A MVP by  Kvaratskhelia

The Georgian winger and the Nigerian forward struck up an incredible partnership during the 2022/23 season, ripping Serie A defences apart and helping Napoli to their first league title since the 1989/90 season. 

Both players made essential contributions to the Scudetto triumph over the course of the season. Still, many saw Osimhen’s input as more crucial to the title win after the Nigerian scored 25 goals on the way to Napoli becoming champions.

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While Kvaratskhelia directly contributed to 22 goals with 12 goals and 10 assists, Osimhen had a hand in 29 goals, scoring 25 times and assisting four more, breaking numerous records and scoring the league-clinching goal against Udinese. 

Despite Osimhen’s heroics, Kvaratskhelia was awarded the MVP award, while Osimhen was honoured with the Best Striker of the Year trophy. 

This has led to widespread outrage and even accusations of the league being biased towards Kvaratskhelia based on the colour of his skin. 

Why Kvaratskhelia was named 2022/23 MVP ahead of Osimhen

However, it appears that the real reason that Osimhen missed out on the award is a lot less sinister and is down to an unspoken Serie A rule about players winning multiple awards. 

Since the inception of the Serie A awards in their current format, no player has won multiple awards in the same season, leading many to believe that the league’s awards are designed that way on purpose to spread the post-season awards across as many players as possible rather than having players cart away all the top prizes. 

Unlike the Premier League, which saw Erling Haaland win the Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the same season, Serie A has a history of not handing out multiple awards to the same individual. 

This can be seen in seasons like 2018/19 when Cristiano Ronaldo, a striker was named MVP, but the best striker of the season was awarded to Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella. 

Also in the 2020/21 season, Inter striker Romel Lukaku was named MVP after leading the Nerazzurri to the Scudetto, but Ronaldo was named the league’s best striker, and once again in the 2021/22 season, when AC striker Rafael Leao was named the league’s MVP at 22 years old, while Napoli’s Osimhen was named the league’s best young player despite being a year older than the Portuguese forward. 

This season, with the race for the MVP being so tight between Osimhen and his teammate, Serie A appears to have given the award to Kvaratskhelia, knowing that the Nigerian would not be able to hold two post-season honours at the same time. 

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