Garcia Likens Osimhen To Ronaldo

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Napoli coach, Rudi Garcia, believes Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has similar leadership qualities like Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

Garcia, who coached Ronaldo at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia last season before signing with the Italian champions this summer, said both players inspired their teammates with their winning mentality during games.

Speaking ahead of his side’s start to their Serie A title defence on Saturday at Frosinone, Garcia rates the Napoli striker as one of the best in the world.

“I was on good terms with Cristiano, I understood why he had such a career. He was the first to arrive for training sessions and the last to leave. He is an incredible leader. He feels the competition also during training sessions. When he won a penalty shootout he celebrated with his ‘Siuu’ like in the Champions League. Osimhen is a leader, he always wants to win and drag the team,” Garcia told DAZN.

“He’s a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo. When he wins, he is super happy. He calls his teammates to take pictures and I like him. He is one of the best in the world, he could only attack, but he also helps the team defensively, he presses opponents and it’s so good for the team. This is part of the group’s qualities.”

Napoli won their first Scudetto in 33 years last season with Osimhen emerging the league’s leading scorer.

Meanwhile, Garcia is also looking forward to a great season working with Georgian star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who impressed in his first Serie A campaign last season.

“Kvara can still improve, he is a genius with the ball at his feet, and he is so nice to watch,” he added.

“Napoli must qualify for the Champions League and we need a strong team.

“I reached the Champions League semis with Lyon. Europe is different, players put a lot of focus on it, but I need to stress that the daily work must be aimed at the league.”