Like Sha'Carri Richardson and Bolt, Osimhen emerges fastest centre forward

Victor Osimhen and Sha'Carri Richardson.

Like Sha'Carri Richardson and Bolt, Osimhen emerges fastest centre forward

Izuchukwu Akawor 20:32 - 08.03.2024

Napoli's Victor Osimhen ranks first among centre forwards with 1.93 more accelerations per game than statistically expected based on his position and the team's style of play.

Napoli hitman Victor Osimhen and Rayo Vallecano's speed demon Álvaro García have been identified as the players making the most explosive accelerations in world football by the latest CIES Football Observatory report.

Pulse Sports Nigeria reports that while Sha’Carri Richardson and Usain Bolt are regarded as the fastest humans on earth, the highly respected data analysts have crunched the numbers from 28 leagues globally to reveal that Osimhen’s searing burst of pace is defying the expected output for his position and team's style of play.

Osimhen emulates Sha’Carri and Bolt

Unsurprisingly it is two of Europe's most electrifying forwards who have emerged as the acceleration kings in their respective roles this season.

According to CIES's complex statistical model, which explains over half of the variation in acceleration outputs between players, Super Eagles’ Osimhen is averaging a staggering 1.93 more high-intensity accelerations per 90 minutes than his expected level.

Osimhen celebrates one of his goals the last time he faced Juve in Naples. (Photo Credit: Imago)

The 25-year-old's ability to repeatedly blow defensive lines apart with rapid charges has been a key weapon for Serie A champions SSC Napoli.

In Spain's LaLiga, the explosive Álvaro García tops the acceleration charts among wingers with 1.38 more high-speed bursts every game than his statistical projection based on Rayo's playing style.

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The 21-year-old's blistering acceleration from out wide has terrorised opposition full-backs all season long for the unfancied Madrid outfit.

Joining García in the acceleration elite among wide attackers are Sassuolo's French flyer Armand Laurienté and Lazio's revitalised Brazilian Felipe Anderson.

Usain Bolt || Credit: X

In attacking midfield areas, PSV's Dutch dynamo Guus Til leads the way for high-intensity charges, while at centre-forward, Ghana's Emmanuel Boateng and Watford loanee Vakoun Isidore Bayo complete the top three behind the unstoppable Osimhen.

The CIES rankings, which only factor in players with over 1000 domestic minutes this season, define accelerations as runs of at least 0.7 seconds at speeds over 10.8km/h.

Nigeria and Napoli star Victor Osimhen.

So while brute top speed is not accounted for, the ability to repeatedly spark explosive surges is recognised as a key attacking weapon that these stars possess in abundance.

With today’s football, players with searing acceleration to stretch and exploit space are becoming important and those lighting up the CIES rankings are giving their sides a priceless edge in the final third.

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