The 23-year-old Super Eagle explains why he believes the Italian forward is “an amazing human being’ during an online interview
Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has discussed what Mario Balotelli did when the Nigerian picked up a facial injury that kept him out of Serie A action for at least two weeks last season.
The 23-year-old Nigeria international was injured in a clash of heads with Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar during their fixture at San Siro on November 21, and he had to be operated upon two days later.
The injury saw Osimhen miss a couple of matches for the Partenopei and it also ruled him out of the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon despite being shortlisted in the Nigeria squad by the then interim coach Augustine Eguavoen.
On returning from the injury, Osimhen was spotted playing with a facemask and the Super Eagle has come out to explain the message he received from the 31-year-old Balotelli, who currently turns out for Super Lig club Adana Demirspor.
“He [Balotelli] sent me a DM like he was checking up on me when I was recovering from my facial injury, he sent me a DM, it was really encouraging and I like that, you know,” Osimhen said in a live interview conducted on Instagram.
“I really appreciate these things because for me I never expected it, but when I was on Instagram, I followed him [Balotelli] without me even thinking he will follow me back… so he is somebody I really like, he is an amazing human being, he is an amazing person.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro has named Osimhen as the team’s penalty taker for future matches.
Osimhen was in great form as the Super Eagles smashed Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in their second Group A match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign on Monday.
Despite scoring four goals, the striker had a chance to make it five when the Super Eagles were awarded a penalty, but he passed the ball to Emmanuel Dennis, who went ahead to score his first goal for the Super Eagles and also the 10th for the side in the fixture.
“Osimhen is a leader in his personality and could have scored five goals against Sao Tome as I have appointed Osimhen as our designated penalty taker,” the Portuguese coach said as quoted by Punch.
“But he gave Dennis the opportunity to score, I like his humility, he’s a good guy with a big heart and I appreciate it.”
Osimhen is currently being linked with a move away from Napoli, with a host of European clubs, among them Premier League outfit Arsenal, being named as a possible destination.