Osimhen loves Napoli, says coach Garcia after TikTok spat
Napoli coach Rudi Garcia has insisted that Victor Osimhen loves Napoli despite the recent brouhaha following a highly controversial video posted on the club’s official TikTok account.
The Partenopei’s TikTok handle, which has a history of posting videos with a certain tone involving their players, sparked controversy on Tuesday after posting two videos focused on Osimhen.
Napoli’s admin on TikTok had disrespected Osimhen by trolling him over his call for the penalty, which he missed in the 0-0 draw with Bologna in a Serie A match last weekend.
The other video then compared the Nigerian striker to a coconut, something that made Osimhen furious while his agent Roberto Calenda, threatened Napoli with legal action.
Osimhen, however, put all his travails aside to score for Napoli, which defeated Udinese 4-1 in a Serie A match played at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday night.
He shut his critics up by putting the Partenopei 2-0 ahead in the 39th minute courtesy of an assist from Matteo Politano before being replaced by Giovanni Simeone on 63 minutes.
Coach Garcia said he hopes Napoli can put the recent drama behind them while stating that Osimhen loves the club’s shirt, adding that nobody intended to be ‘hurtful’ with those TikTok videos.
“Over the last two days there was a bit of trouble with some clumsy behaviour. Nobody wanted to be hurtful, not the TikTok with the video of Victor, nor Victor by taking his photographs down on social media.
“Nobody intended to hurt anyone, these are instinctive reactions and are understandable,” the manager said after Wednesday’s game.
Osimhen, meanwhile, deleted every image of himself playing for Napoli amid a public spat with the Serie A club, a situation which Garcia played down.
“It is his social media account, he can do what he wants with it. All I can say is that he loves this jersey and will give everything for Napoli this season as well,” the coach said.
Reporters also asked Garcia if he had thanked Osimhen for finding the goal, celebrating with his teammates and rediscovering his smile.
“I complimented him, which is different. I have had a very good rapport with Victor since the moment I arrived. I am happy because he scored a goal and centre-forwards always want to score goals,” he said.
“He too was unlucky hitting the crossbar and upright in the last few games, but I told him to stay focused on the game.
“Technically, he provided an assist, because I had named him as the penalty taker this evening. I do not take someone off penalty duties if they make a mistake, but he decided to give that assist to Zielinski.”
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