Strootman Handed the Iconic #6 Shirt


Roma unveiled their new signing this morning as Kevin Strootman was introduced to the press. The Dutchman arrives in the capital from PSV for a €16.5m fee (with bonuses, the fee could rise to as much as €20m). The Dutchman was handed the iconic #6 shirt last worn by Brazilian center back Aldair.

Roma retired the #6 jersey after Aldair left the team in 2003; many have inquired about its availability when they first arrive in Rome. Each time a request is made for the shirt, Aldair is consulted. This has been the first time that Aldair has given his blessing for the number to be “un-retired”, proving that he believes the Dutchman is more than worthy of the shirt.

Some highlights of Strootman’s press conference are below:

Offers to join other clubs?

“Yes, I did have other offers but I chose Roma because they’re a world-class club. I spoke to Garcia and he explained to me how he wants his team to play. Taking everything into consideration, it was an easy choice to make.”

On being handed the iconic #6 shirt:

“I want to thank Aldair. I know he was one of the best players ever to play for Roma. It’s an extremely tall order to emulate what he achieved at this club and I hope the fans will give me all the support I need.”

Your reaction to your welcome at Fiuminico?

“In Holland we’re not used to seeing the sort of welcome I got at Fiumicino. I’d heard there were some people waiting for me but didn’t expect it to be quite like that. I can promise the fans I’ll give 100% but instead of talking here I want to do my talking on the field.”

Have you spoke with De Rossi yet?

“I haven’t spoken to Daniele yet. Of course it would be an honor to play alongside a fantastic player such as him who has grown up in this team. I hope he stays here so I get that chance. With the coach’s help we’ll find the way to play together in midfield. I know the team didn’t do particularly well over the last two years and the challenge is to try and improve on that. I’m here to do my bit.”

Pressure due to your large price tag?

“Yes, Roma did pay a big fee or me and I’m aware of that but it doesn’t affect my performance on the field. I’m glad Roma brought me here and I want to work hard and live up to the expectations. That’s why I want to learn Italian as quickly as possible so that I can understand my team-mates and settle in properly. I realize Serie A is a very competitive league with lots of great teams. I think the coach can provide us with extra impetus: he’s in his first year in Italy and he’ll be determined to prove himself.”