IKENWA NNABUOGOR welcomes Tunisian Ligue top scorer Tony Okpotu into home and abroad goaledor’s Hall of Fame…
Former Lobi Stars striker Anthony Okpotu has emerged top scorer in the Tunisia top flight’s 2019/20 season that ended at the weekend.
‘The Panther’ Okpotu cracked in 13 goals in 19 games to cart home the top scorer’s award and qualified his side US Monastir to the CAF Confederation Cup for the first time.
His goals also ensured an Arab Champions League ticket for the modest Tunisian club Okpotu joined up with after a stint at Albania’s KF Laci.
The former home-based Super Eagles marksman becomes only the second Nigerian to top score in Tunisia after Michael Eneramo was crowned back-to-back goaledor in 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons for multiple champions Esperance.
He would also become the seventh foreigner to achieve the feat since Zambian striker Kenneth Malitoli opened the foreigner’s account in the 1992/93 season for Esperance.
Excitingly, Okpotu’s little piece of history didn’t end there: he would go on to equal late Rashidi Yekini’s feat by becoming the fourth Nigerian to emerge top scorer both in the Nigerian local league and abroad.
Former IFK Gothenburg striker Peter Ijeh and ex-Club Brugge hitman, Joseph Akpala are the other names who took their top scoring boots along to Sweden and Belgium, respectively.
Okpotu’s feat would have also gladden many because scoring goals in the Tunisian top flight comes with lots of sweat.
Goal scoring record in Tunisia is hardly nowhere near the 20-goal mark. The last time the league produced a top scorer with a 20-goal mark was in the 1974-75 season, when Zoubeir Ghenia finished top scorer with 20 goals for Esperance.
Okpotu’s consistency in front of goal despite playing for a modest club earned him a special mention by the ever critical Tunisia media for being the first-ever US Monastir player to emerge top scorer.
Okpotu would also put the NPFL in spotlight for repeating his 2017 season feat in grand style.
He is certainly on his way to bigger things as Esperance, Etoile du Sahel and Club Africain could be falling over one another to grab him that’s if he will choose to remain in the North African country that has launched a good number of Nigerian players into Europe.
A move back to Europe is also on the cards for him, but most certainly it will not be to Albania, where he was loaned to by Moroccan side Diffa Hassani El Jadidi.
Wherever he takes his game to from Monastir, one thing is for sure – he is taking a sweet piece of history along.