Victor Osimhen: New Napoli Boss Sends Warning to Nigeria Star, Teammates After Barcelona Draw

Victor Osimhen: New Napoli Boss Sends Warning to Nigeria Star, Teammates After Barcelona Draw

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 25, 2024 at 8:33 AM
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  • Victor Osimhen returned to action in the UEFA Champions League last 16
  • The Nigerian scored in Napoli's hard-fought 1-1 draw against Barcelona
  • Napoli's new boss, Francesco Calzona, had stern words for the players

African footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen, rescued a point for Napoli in the Round of 16 UEFA Champions League clash against Barcelona on Wednesday, February 21.

New coach of the Serie A champions, Francesco Calzona, has since sent a warning to the team, saying that he would not hesitate to substitute underperforming players.

Francesco Calzona, Victor Osimhen, Napoli, Barcelona, Champions League, Nigeria, Walter Mazzari, Rudi Garcia
Victor Osimhen earned Francesco Calzona his first point as Napoli's head coach. Photos by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images and Jonathan Moscrop.
Source: Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski gave the Spanish champions the lead in the 60th minute, but the Super Eagles star equalised 15 minutes later to give the new boss his first point.

Two minutes after he scored, Osimhen was substituted, along with Giovanni Simeone, a decision that raised a few eyebrows considering their need to win at home.

Calzona later commented that no player was immune to substitution, per Complete Sports.

"I keep the players on the field who are doing well, I don’t look at their names. Matteo Politano had an excellent match - he was defending well too with great vigour. Those who do not do well can be removed."

He added that he had wanted to take Osimhen off earlier.

"No, in fact I had been ready to take him off earlier, but due to a tactical issue, I kept him on for a few more minutes."

Calzona is Osimhen's third coach this season after the firing of Walter Mazzarri and his predecessor, Rudi Garcia, per AP.

The Nigerian won the Serie A Golden Boot last season but has made a poor start this season. The 25-year-old has scored just nine goals in 19 matches.

Napoli captain praises Osimhen

Sports Brief earlier reported on Napoli's captain, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, hailing Osimhen after his goal against Barcelona.

The skipper of the Serie A club welcomed his return, saying the Nigerian's goal-scoring ability would be vital for their season.

"He came back very well, with his head right as we all knew. He will give us a hand in the games we are missing. With Simeone and Raspadori, the coach has a great choice; he will decide from time to time."

PSG keen on signing Victor Osimhen

Sports Brief previously reported that French Ligue 1 side, Paris Saint-Germain, are ready to meet Osimhen's release clause at Napoli.

The Nigerian international is being seen as an ideal replacement for Kylian Mbappe, who seems set to leave the club for Real Madrid.

Osimhen's excellent performance for the Serie A champions last season has ignited interest from multiple clubs for the 25-year-old.

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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.