UEFA record-breaker Orban compared to Papin

UEFA record-breaker Orban compared to Papin
KAA Gent's Gift Orban (L) celebrates with team mate Malick Fofana after scoring the his second goal during the UEFA Conference League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Istanbul Basaksehir and KAA Gent in Istanbul, Turkey, 15 March 2023. EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

by Staff Reporter

Monday Mar 20, 2023. 10:44

Nigerian starlet Gift Orban reminds Belgium legend Franky van der Elst of France and Marseille icon Jean-Pierre Papin.

Papin was a lethal striker who was named the Ballon d’Or and IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer of the Year in 1991.

While Orban has been in sensational form for KAA Gent this season – scoring 14 goals in just 11 matches for the Belgian club across all competitions.

“It’s a no-brainer, which acts extremely fast in and around 16. His second goal against Basaksehir was nice of course, but I also thought the first one was fantastic,” Van der Elst told Het Nieuwsblad.

“He stands still and gets that ball pushed into his foot. It’s half under you, isn’t it? But then it’s: control left and kick left. Crook-crook. That goes so fast.”

The 20-year-old scored a hat-trick in 4-1 away win over İstanbul Başakşehir in the UEFA Europa Conference League round 16 on March 15.

The hat-trick was scored within three minutes and 25 seconds, setting a new record for the fastest hat-trick in UEFA club competitions, breaking the previous record of six minutes and 12 seconds held by Egypt captain Mohamed Salah in the Champions League.

“He only needs a few ball contacts to score. I don’t mean that he doesn’t appear much in the game, but how he finishes: always one time, two times max,” Van der Elst added.

“At Zulte Waregem he finished all his four goals in one time, with right and left. He reminds me a bit of Papin. He also had that direct and selfishness.”

Orban has been included in the Nigeria squad ahead of this month’s 2023 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Guinea.

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