Napoli’s star striker Victor Osimhen led the club to its third league title in 2023. Last season was nothing short of a fairytale for Napoli supporters; the Gli Azzurri lifted the Scudetto, the league title, after a long wait of 33 years since Diego Maradona was the hero of Naples.
However, the relationship between the Serie A champions and their top scorer has soured due to a controversial TikTok video posted on the club’s official account regarding a penalty miss. Following the outrage, Napoli released an official statement on the issue.
Napoli issue statement following Osimhen debacle
Over the course of events, Napoli’s official account posted a clip of Osimhen missing the penalty against Bologna on TikTok which was intended to be funny. Fans and representatives of the player, however, felt it had been an insult to their star striker and the post was removed by the club.
Following the social media post, the player was furious and deleted all Napoli-related pictures from his Instagram handle. The player’s manager, Roberto Calenda, further threatened to take legal action against the club for harming the striker’s image on the public platform.
Amid the ongoing controversy, Osimhen still started in a 4-1 win for Napoli against Udinese on Thursday. He even scored a goal in the game but refused to celebrate. Earlier in the game, a penalty was awarded to Napoli, but it was Piotr Zieliński who converted from the spot, not Osimhen, who is generally their designated penalty taker.
Napoli finally released an official statement on the situation, stating the club did not intend to mock or disregard the player and called the striker ‘a treasure of the club’.”
“Calcio Napoli, wishing to avoid any exploitation of the issue, point out that we never wanted to offend or mock Victor Osimhen, who is a treasure of this club”, Napoli said in the statement.
The club added further, stating, “Social media, in particular, TikTok, has always used an expressive form of language with a light heart and creativity, without wanting to, as in the case with Osimhen as the protagonist, have any intention of insult or derision”.
Fans left far from impressed with Napoli approach
Fans are not pleased with the way Napoli responded to the whole scenario. The Italian champions were criticized over the week due to the clip, and now their new approach isn’t being well-received by the fans.
Fans believe Napoli avoided an apology by releasing the statement and have defended their action.
Reportedly, many European giants such as Manchester United, PSG, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham are all interested in signing the Nigerian striker. There looms to be a possibility that the 24-year-old might move away from Napoli in January.
Napoli are reluctant to let go of their talisman, who is under contract until the summer of 2025, and they want to extend it further. The Italian champions may be forced to sell Osimhen next transfer window if the situation doesn’t improve in a few weeks.
Since he arrived in Naples as a record signing for £79 million in 2020, the Nigeria international has scored 62 goals for Napoli in 107 appearances and also became their top-scorer in a league-winning campaign.
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