Napoli striker Victor Osimhen believes the team is still very much in the title race and dreams of celebrating Lo scudetto with the Napoli supporters, The Nigerian international spoke with Radio Kiss Kiss in Naples and shared his thoughts on the defeat to Milan and the importance of Luciano Spalletti to the team.
During the week you analyzed the reasons for Sunday’s defeat against Milan – What did the coach tell you?
“The defeat against Milan has hurt us. We didn’t have a great game but of course we are aware that we played against a strong team. We have analyzed in depth the match and the mistakes made in order to correct them but I repeat that it was a hard defeat to digest.”
Was there was foul on you in the first half?
“Obviously it was a foul. I didn’t try to simulate because if I did I would have been given a yellow card. I expected the referee to go to VAR but he didn’t. Too bad but okay, the referee’s decision has been different and must be accepted.”
Now there is another difficult game against Verona. A strong team that denied you Champions League qualification last year. You also want to win to avenge that?
“I think it is important for us, first of all, to go back to winning and playing every game to the fullest. We know Verona, they’re a good team and they’re difficult to play against, especially when you face them in front of their fans. I think we are ready to give everything, to play a great game and get three points. Of course it won’t be easy but we will have to go there with the winning mentality and take away a success.”
After Milan, part of the fans no longer believe in the Scudetto, but the table says you’re still in it. Do you still believe?
“Of course we believe it. Fans too must continue to believe it despite the defeat against Milan. We are aware of our strength and continue to hope for the best. I believe it a lot. We know that from here to the end of the season we will face many difficult games but we still believe in it.”
Your tactical technical growth and your attacking threat is obvious. Do you feel you have improved since you arrived?
“Sure. I already knew on my arrival in Naples that the impact with Italian football would be important both for me and for my way of playing football. I also learned a lot from other attackers by watching them and studying them. I am also referring to those who play in other leagues. But I know I still have to improve and I’m working on it and I will continue to do it.”
How much is coach Spalletti helping in all this?
“Spalletti has been instrumental in my further growth since he arrived. I can only say a big thank you, but not only me, I also speak on behalf of my teammates. He has always been good at encouraging us regardless of the results and difficulties related above all to injuries. He encouraged every squad player, including me of course. I feel privileged to walk this path by his side and I know that much more can teach me.”
You are one of the fan idols. What relationship do you have with the city? What’s your experience of it?
“For me, it was a particular moment when I arrived in Naples. At the beginning it was an alternation of ups and downs but its normal, its football. Even the criticisms I have received can be deceptive. But since I arrived, I’ve tried to live it as much as possible, to interact. I see happy fans when they meet me on the street. I feel a lot of their love which I now feel is much stronger than the criticism. This makes me very happy.”
How much desire do you have to play in the Champions League? And to win the championship?
“Playing in the Champions League is a huge thing. Doing it with Napoli would be even more beautiful. We know that there is still work to be done to earn Champions League qualification ticket for next year. I think the atmosphere of the Maradona will be great but Koulibaly has already said something about it. I can’t wait to experience that atmosphere. Winning the Scudetto would be something incredible great for me and my career because I don’t just want to score many career goals, I also win many trophies with this team. Above all, I think fans deserve to achieve this goal and celebrate it with us. I can only imagine what it would be to win the Scudetto here, in this city and for these people.”
How goes your recovery after the cheekbone injury? You give the impression of not being afraid in the least?
“I try not to give weight to the injury I suffered. The doctors reassured me that I’m completely recovered and that I’m fine. And so it is. The mask is only a precaution. These are the last few weeks I will continue to wear it. The Mask is a second protection for me, the first is my mentality, this is what allows me to fight without fear against defenders.”