Italy youth international has loan terminated after apologising over TikTok use

Mirko Antonucci TikTok Italy 2019
Roma's Mirko Antonucci has left Portuguese side Vitoria de Setubal due to his overuse of the social media video-sharing app

One of Italy’s young rising stars has had a loan spell cut short because his parent club weren’t impressed at his use of TikTok.

Roma forward Mirko Antonucci has returned to Italy from Portuguese side Vitoria de Setubal after scoring once in six appearances since joining in January.

The 21-year-old, who has represented Italy at five youth international levels, posted a video on TikTok shortly after Vitoria’s 3-1 defeat to Boavista last Saturday which showed him dancing and smiling.

Antonucci issued a public apology and vow to quit social media, but that wasn’t enough to save his time at the club.

"This message is to say that I'm fully aware of the mistakes I made,” Antonucci said on Instagram.

“I would like to apologise to those that felt offended: fans, club, coach and teammates. I'm going to quit social media and from now on, you are only going to see me sweat with the Vitoria Setubal jersey until the last drop. Go Vitoria!"

Vitoria manager Julio Velazquez addressed the situation ahead of his side’s home fixture with Rio Ave in midweek, which they lost 2-1.

"It was communicated to his parent club, Roma, that the loan ends now and that we no longer count on the player, above all out of respect for the fans and the history of the club and for all those who work on a daily basis to represent this team with the greatest responsibility and dignity," Velazquez said.

"For what this badge represents, for the history of the club and out of respect for the fans, a Vitoria player must be one 24 hours a day.

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“The situation is very simple; the club, the management, technical team and staff understood that the behaviour of a player who was on loan was not what we wanted of a Vitoria player, nor what the fans deserve, on and off the pitch."

Antonucci joined Roma as a youngster and signed his first professional contract in 2017. He made his professional debut the following January, assisting Edin Dzeko for Roma’s equaliser in a 1-1 Serie A draw with Sampdoria.

He later featured in Roma’s Champions League semi-final clash with Liverpool, and spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Pescara.