If Dani Osvaldo was half as good as he thinks he is, he'd be the best player in the world. Which isn't to say that the striker, currently on loan at Juventus, isn't without some talent. Far from it. It's just that the considerable talent he does have is constantly held back or undermined by an inflated sense of self-importance and a tendency to act childishly whenever possible.
The latest foolishness came after Juve's win against Lyon in the Europa League. The striker was bullish on Twitter (as reported here in Italian at CorrieredelloSport.it) claiming that he always gives 100 percent and that the people who didn't believe in him—i.e. the fans at his former club Roma—needed to shut up. They were like owls, he said, who could only look at you from behind.
That last remark is obviously a reference to the Bianconeri's commanding lead in the league. Which would be fair enough—if it had been made by a player who'd actually contributed in some way to that dominance. Osvaldo has only started three games for Juve in the league so far and is yet to score. He was brought in as cover for the side's better strikers, and that's exactly what he's been.
Of course, in the player's mind, the simple fact that he was picked up by Antonio Conte at all proves that he's a top player. It doesn't. Juve are the ninth club that he's played for since making his debut for Huracan in 2005, and it won't be the last.
If he could talk less and focus on playing football, perhaps the move to Turin would be made permanent. He is, after all, a proven Serie A goalscorer and a regular with Cesare Prandelli's Italy. But he's also a troublemaker, a player who's failed to ever really settle at a club long-term and one who was a total flop in the Premier League.
The move to Southampton was Osvaldo's chance to prove his detractors wrong. He'd been a success at the Stadio Olimpico, but a complete breakdown in his relationship with the fans left him no choice but to leave the Italian capital. But instead of making a name for himself in England with some fine performances, he left St. Mary's Stadium in disgrace.
A training-ground bust up with Jose Fonte—which left the defender with a black eye—made headlines, but the truth is that his mediocre performances had probably sealed his fate before the fight with the Portuguese. He was the Saints' record signing, but in half a season he managed as many goals and he did yellow cards: three.
Somehow he's been given another chance by Conte, but if he's to stay in Turin he'll need to clean up his act. Just like the Italian national side, there's no room at a grand club like Juventus for a trouble-maker or someone with ego problems.
Back at Roma, the young Argentine Erik Lamela had some advice for Osvaldo. The pair clashed in the dressing room early in the season and Lamela's put down was cutting and somewhat cruel, but it was also on the money. "Shut up," he said (per ESPN FC), "you're not Maradona."