The Nigerian striker is a much-loved figure in Naples, but his relationship with Napoli fans soured a bit over the past week or two
Former Manchester City star Mario Balotelli has taken issue with Super Eagles sensation Victor Osimhen’s decision to relinquish penalty duties for Napoli, Soccernet.ng reports.
Osimhen decided against taking the penalty during Napoli’s clash with Udinese after his missed spot-kick against Bologna resulted in an ugly TikTok controversy.
The Nigerian international returned to scoring ways in Napoli’s resounding 4-1 triumph over Udinese in the Italian Serie A on Wednesday, September 27.
He made it two games in as many matches in the 4-0 triumph over Lecce at the weekend.
However, it was Osimhen’s refusal to take the penalty kick in the tie with Udinese, a responsibility he typically shoulders for the club, that has drawn the ire of Balotelli.
Balotelli, speaking to TV Play (via Owngoal), expressed his disappointment in Osimhen’s decision.
He remarked, “Osimhen is a friend of mine; I greet him. But in the penalty miss against Udinese, he disappointed me a bit. He should have kicked and not Zielinski.”
The former Liverpool striker discussed Napoli’s TikTok video, which mocked Osimhen, and the player’s subsequent choice not to celebrate his goal against Udinese.
Balotelli commented, “That video is meaningless. Victor has a personality; there’s no denying that. The goal he scores is complicated, don’t think it’s easy. Didn’t he rejoice? He did well; he copies me.”
Soccernet.ng earlier reported that Osimhen has spoken publicly for the first time since the altercation between him and Napoli regarding the controversial TikTok video posted on the club’s official channel.
The Super Eagles striker has made it clear that he has deep respect for his relationship with Napoli’s fans, and he would not want any party or incident to create a division.
Despite his decisive penalty miss against Bologna, Osimhen has displayed resilience by netting goals in two consecutive matches.
Recall that Osimhen played a pivotal role in Napoli’s triumph in the previous Italian Serie A season, where they secured their first league title in 33 years.
He clinched the Serie A Golden Boot with an impressive 26 goals, setting several records along the way.