Olunga reacts to surpassing Messi, Osimhen in 2023 goal scoring charts

© Michael Olunga

STARS ABROAD Olunga reacts to surpassing Messi, Osimhen in 2023 goal scoring charts

Festus Chuma 10:04 - 03.01.2024

Michael Olunga reacts humbly to surpassing Messi and Osimhen in 2023 goal-scoring, eager for a better 2024.

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga has expressed his gratitude and determination after outscoring football luminaries Lionel Messi and Victor Osimhen in the 2023 goal-scoring charts.

The prolific striker netted an impressive 35 goals for both Al Duhail and the Kenyan national team throughout the year, overshadowing Messi's Ballon d'Or-winning campaign and Osimhen's title-winning exploits with Napoli.

Olunga's remarkable achievement saw him secure 22nd spot in the goal-scoring hierarchy for 2023, surpassing the likes of Messi and Osimhen.

The Kenyan captain bagged 20 goals during the second half of the 2022/23 Qatar Stars League campaign, with an additional 12 goals coming in the ongoing league season.

Notably, his international contributions included a crucial strike in Harambee Stars' narrow 2-1 loss to Iran in March and a memorable brace as Kenya dominated Seychelles with a resounding 5-0 victory in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier last November.

Expressing his gratitude for the phenomenal year, Olunga took to social media, stating, "Thanks 2023, No;22 ... Working Hard for a better 2024. Let's go."

In a surprising twist, Lionel Messi, the record eight-time Ballon d'Or winner, struggled to make a significant impact in the goal-scoring department throughout 2023.

The Argentine maestro, who began the year with Paris Saint-Germain and concluded it with MLS side Inter Miami, managed a modest 28 goals in 44 appearances for both club and country.

This marked one of Messi's lowest-scoring calendar years, contrasting sharply with his extraordinary tally of 91 goals in 69 games back in 2012.

Despite Olunga's remarkable feat, it is worth noting that the Kenyan striker could have potentially scored more were it not for some missed opportunities and an unfortunate hamstring injury in December.

The former Gor Mahia forward also failed to sparkle in crucial national team fixtures against Qatar, Russia, and Seychelles, games that could have propelled his goal tally beyond the 40-goal mark.

Additionally, Olunga's absence from Al Duhail's recent matches due to injury has had a significant impact, with the Qatari club failing to secure a victory in all five games since his sidelining. 

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