The young Nigerian forward had to face and overcome a few trying times in his debut season in Italy, but none probably got him as riled up as the events of the final match of the campaign
Highly-regarded Napoli fan Gennaro Razzino has revealed he sadly watched Victor Osimhen beat himself up after Napoli failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League on the last day of the season.
Osimhen, Napoli’s star signing for a club and African record transfer fee, arrived in Italy with a promise to take the league by storm. The former Lille man scored two goals in his first six Serie A matches before a shoulder injury, suffered while away with Nigeria on international duty, kept him out of action till December.
The youngster’s return was expected to boost Napoli’s title hopes, but he then contracted coronavirus, which forced him into isolation for another couple of weeks.
Still, Osimhen showed incredible mental strength to put his problems behind him and boost the Gennaro Gattuso-tutored side’s Champions League chances with seven goals in his last 11 games.
Napoli sat pretty in fourth place, the last UCL spot, needing a win and all the three points in the final match of the campaign at home to Hellas Verona.
Osimhen provided the assist to Il Partenopei’s goal, but the struggling visitors remarkably forced a draw as Juventus, who won at Bologna, overtook Napoli to seal a top-four finish.
Professor Razzino saw that encounter live and has rubbished insinuations that Napoli players didn’t give their best against Verona.
Waving away any undertone of conspiracy, the renowned lawyer recounted to Naples-based Radio Tele A (as quoted by Area Napoli) how an angry Osimhen reacted to his side’s dashed hopes of featuring in the next edition of the Champions League.
“I was at the stadium that day. As I was leaving, I saw a furious Victor Osimhen,” Razzino recalled.
“The Nigerian striker punched the dressing-room wall: he was clearly angry.
“Consequently, it is absolutely not true that the Napoli players were indifferent to that situation.
“Victor Osimhen was really upset, he had given everything on the pitch, and despite the efforts made, he and his teammates had not managed to bring home the three points.
“The weird thing is perhaps that Gattuso seemed a bit blocked, but no ‘conspiracy’ or anything like that, for heaven’s sake.”
A rejuvenated Osimhen appears ready to show his full potential in his second season in the Italian elite division.