Victor Osimhen’s dismissal during Napoli’s Serie A match against Venezia was “excessive”, according to former Parthenopeans striker Emanuele Calaio.
The Nigeria international was given his marching orders during the first half of his side’s 2-0 victory by referee Gianluca Aureliano for violent conduct against Daan Heymans after appearing to strike the opposition during a corner.
That was the first time the former Wolfsburg and Lille man had been sent off in a league encounter during his professional career.
Subsequently, the Osimhen will miss his club’s next two Italian elite division matches against Genoa and Juventus, on August 29 and September 11, respectively.
However, the retired striker stated that the punishment was is extreme, claiming Osimhen’s behaviour was natural.
“The expulsion to Osimhen? Already last year it was felt that the character of the Nigerian was a bit too steamy,” Calaio told Radio Kiss Kiss.
read also:Napoli to appeal Osimhen’s two-match ban
“A thick striker must also have the lucidity to be quiet in certain moments of the race. But the expulsion was excessive.
“In football, you also see much worse and without red cards. Aureliano was in confusion during the race also in the management of the cards against the Venezia players.
“Osimhen’s behaviour was instinctive: he had been restrained and yanked, the defenders do everything to provoke. I also happened to push away the defenders because they kept my shirt.”
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Luciano Spalletti’s men stepped up their game to secure all points at stake thanks to goals from captain Lorenzo Insigne and Elif Elmas.
Calaio, 39, also showered praises on Insigne – who inspired his team to victory despite missing a penalty kick earlier.
“Insigne is a mature footballer, a true leader, a real captain,” he continued.
“He had two big balls so for having decided to beat the penalty kick with Venezia again.”
Meanwhile, the Naples-based outfit revealed that they will appeal the two-game ban meted out on the 22-year-old.