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UCL: Calzona warns Osimhen, others on player selection

Napoli coach Francesco Calzona has issued a stern warning to Victor Osimhen and his fellow players, emphasizing that he will base his selection for matches solely on performance, without considering their names or reputations.

Taking over from Walter Mazzarri on Monday, Calzona made significant substitutions during Napoli’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Wednesday night, including star forwards Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Despite the Serie A champions securing a draw in the first leg of the Round of 16 contest at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Osimhen was replaced immediately after scoring the equalizer in the 75th minute.

“I keep the players on the field who are performing well, I don’t take into account their names,” Calzona emphasized to Sky Sports Italia after the match.

Calzona further explained that he had not been tempted to keep Osimhen on the field longer after his goal. “No, in fact, I had been prepared to substitute him earlier, but due to tactical considerations, I kept him on for a few more minutes.”

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