The AS Roma manager applauded the Nigerian striker’s goal but held reservations about his falling under tackles on the pitch after Sunday’s loss to Napoli
AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho delivered a mixed reaction to Victor Osimhen’s performance on Sunday night after the Nigerian scored his 14th goal of the season in Napoli’s 2-1 victory at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Despite the obvious hacking at the legs of the Nigerian striker by Roma defenders during the game, Mourinho thought the 24-year-old exaggerated the incidents. Osimhen was substituted on 76 minutes after he had taken several blows to his ankles and limped off after consultations with his coach Luciano Spalletti.
After one of the episodes where Osimhen had to receive treatment on the pitch for a kick on his ankle in the first half, the Portuguese tactician patted the player on the back after a handshake on the sidelines.
Soccernet.ng’s Lolade Adewuyi asked the trainer what was exchanged at that moment and whether the Nigerian could now be compared to his idol, the former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star, Didier Drogba.
“I told him, “you scored an amazing goal, but you didn’t need to dive all the time. That’s what I told him. That’s what I think,” Mourinho said in response to the question by Soccernet.ng at the post match press conference.
“He scored an amazing goal. Even from my bench, I almost clapped, because it was an amazing goal.
“He did the same in Rome, he scored an amazing goal in Rome. So for me he’s a fantastic player.
“But I repeat what I told him, he doesn’t need to dive.”
After Jose Mourinho dropped his vibes on Victor Osimhen, he stopped to take a selfie with me.
I wished him a happy birthday before my questions and he said a curt, “Thank you!”
And proceeded to fire his missiles. Age hasn’t softened him one bit.
The Special One. pic.twitter.com/vGms05vA0z
— Lolade Adewuyi (@Jololade) January 29, 2023
Mourinho said that Osimhen’s level is near that of his former Chelsea protégé.
“And if you want me to compare him with Drogba, I would say, the level is there but Drogba would never dive. If Victor can change that in his game, he is okay. If only I am at a club with a lot of money, I’ll buy him,” Mourinho concluded.
With a 13-point lead at the top of the table, Mourinho reiterated his belief that Napoli will win the Scudetto this year.
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