Napoli's Victor Osimhen missed a penalty against Bologna
Photo: SERENA CAMPANINI / EPA
Many well-known athletes have to deal with sneering comments on social networks and at some point put on a thick skin against such attacks. But what do you do when it's your own club that exposes you to ridicule? Such a case is currently being discussed in Italy, where professional footballer Victor Osimhen feels badly treated by SSC Napoli. After the Nigerian missed a penalty in the 5-0 draw against Bologna on Matchday 0 of Serie A, his club posted a video of the scene on the TikTok platform.
In it, Osimhen could be seen demanding a penalty kick – accompanied by a beeping voice assigned to him ("Please give me a penalty!"). When he actually receives it, the Pieps-Osimhen thanks him politely and laughs hysterically before the real striker shoots the ball past the goal. The 24-year-old was later substituted and raged against Napoli coach Rudi Garcia, which was also seen in the video.
Osimhen's advisor Roberto Calenda had posted the video on Twitter, helping him to get even more publicity. He threatened the association with legal action and called the now-deleted post "unacceptable". The attacker would be inflicted "serious damage" here.
Those responsible for the Italian champion have now officially commented on the issue and rejected the accusation of insult. They "never wanted to insult or ridicule" the attacker, the club wrote in an official statement on Thursday.
The association pointed out that the way of expressing oneself in social networks is always a bit more "relaxed and creative". There was no intention to mock the attacker. Napoli also pointed out that they had rejected several offers for the striker in the summer.
Osimhen played a major role in Napoli's first Serie A title in 26 years, scoring 33 goals last season.