Why Osimhen deserves better from Napoli
Napoli admin on TikTok recently disrespected Victor Osimhen by trolling him over his call for the penalty he missed in a 0-0 draw with Bologna in a Serie A match last weekend.
There were actually two videos that infuriated Osimhen. The first one was posted three days earlier and compared the Nigeria international to a coconut. The second was shared after Sunday’s Serie A game against Bologna and appeared to mock the striker for missing a spot kick at the Stadio Dall’Ara.
Both videos have now been deleted by Napoli’s official TikTok account but remain available on other platforms online.
Osimhen missed a crucial spot kick in the 72nd minute of the match against Bologna at the Stadio Dall’Ara which could have ended his run of three games without a goal as well as the club’s two league matches without a win.
The 24-year-old’s rude reaction to his substitution by coach Rudi Garcia in the 86th has also generated serious media scrutiny in Italy, with Osimhen forced to apologise over his behaviour.
On the social media platform, the club posted the now-deleted video showing Osimhen raising his hand in an appeal to the referee, after a Bolgna defender accidentally touched the ball in his 18-yard area.
A voice in the footage mocked Osimhen, saying repeatedly: “Give me penalty, please!”
The development elicited angry reactions from users around the world with many Nigerians saying that the Serie A champions do not deserve last season’s top scorer.
Osimhen truly is not supposed to be treated in such a disrespectful manner because he actually deserves better from Napoli due to the following reasons:
Osimhen helped Napoli end 33-year title drought
The Nigerian attacking sensation was the major reason why Napoli finally put an end to its 33-year wait for the Italian Serie A title, having last won it in the 1989/90 season.
Osimhen was highly instrumental to Napoli winning the Scudetto in the 2022/23 season after scoring 26 goals in 32 matches and it was their third Serie A title in history.
He helped solidify Nigeria-Italy relationship
There is no denying the fact that a lot of Nigerians started following Napoli after Osimhen joined the club in 2020 which in turn helped solidify the relationship between Nigeria and Italy.
This was even attested to by an Italian, Goan Carlo, who revealed that Napoli’s latest golden boy, Osimhen, is the major reason why he and his fellow Italians have fallen in love with Nigeria.
Carlo, in May 2023, disclosed this to Germany-based Nigerian sports journalist/reporter, Omavua Akatugba, on one of his trips to the Italian city of Naples.
Akatugba said, while leaving Naples, he boarded a taxi on his way to the airport and the driver asked him where he is from and what he was doing in Napoli.
He told the Italian cab driver, Carlo, that he is from Nigeria and he was a sports journalist in Naples to cover a Napoli game because of his Nigerian brother, Osimhen.
Akatugba said little did he know that the mere mention of Osimhen was going to trigger an eulogy that made the sports journalist smile and laugh all through the ride.
“We fell in love with Nigeria because of Osimhen, we have waited for another player as strong as Maradona for 33 years and now we have one, we love Osimhen, we love Osimhen.
“We can lose a match but the energy he puts in for us in a match is everything to us. Osimhen links two nations together,” Carlo disclosed while driving Akatugba.
“We have waited for another player as strong as Maradona for 33 years and now we have one and that is none other than Osimhen.
“Yes, yes, he is a hero in Napoli you know because the way he acts when we play, you know the strength, the rage he puts on the field is very important for us,” Carlo stated.
Osimhen helped Napoli make Champions League history
Napoli made history in the UEFA Champions League last season courtesy of Osimhen who helped the Partenopei make it to the quarter-final stage of the competition for the first time.
He scored five goals in the Champions League as Napoli bettered their previous round of 16 record and if not for the injury which made him miss the quarter-final first leg against AC Milan, his club could have reached the semi-finals.
Osimhen made Napoli a bigger club/brand
There is no doubt that Osimhen has been vital in Napoli becoming a bigger club/brand in Europe and even on the global stage with some admitting that he is the biggest player the club has had since Diego Armando Maradona.
Nigerian singer Timaya also said that Napoli should put some respect on Osimhen’s name because they have not had a player like his countryman since the late Maradona.
Osimhen rejeced lucrative offers for Napoli stay
Osimhen deserves better from Napoli, especially after he turned down lucrative offers during the summer transfer window to stay at the Italian Serie A club.
As a result of his blistering goalscoring form, Saudi moneybags Al-Hilal were desperate to sign Osimhen before the end of the summer transfer window and offered him a lucrative deal worth €200 million.
Transfer News Live quoted Calcio Napoli as saying that Al-Hilal’s offer to Osimhen would have seen the Super Eagles striker earn €40m a year over a five-season deal.
The 24-year-old nevertheless turned down the offer to stay at Napoli because he loves them, but with the disrespectful trolling from the club’s admin on TikTok, the Nigerian international might justifiably be feeling he should have ended his spell at the Serie A side before the close of the summer transfer window.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.