Roma midfielder Gonzalo Villar spoke with Spanish journalist Miguel Quintana, which was published on YouTube. Here’s what the youngster had to say:
In 15 days, you went from playing in the second division against Alcorcon to making your Serie A debut against Sassuolo. How did you experience this sudden change?
The month of January was particular, given the negotiation with Roma. Before playing against Alcorcon, they told me that the deal was very close to closing and they asked me what I wanted to do, whether I wanted to play or not. I replied, though, that as long as there was no signature, I would still be on the pitch.
I even remember that around the 50th minute, I had come out because I had a knee ache. I waited awhile but I was unable to play my last game with Elche after the one against Alcorcon, but then the agreement came. It’s an important change, but it’s something I’ve been working on for a my whole life, since I was 3 years old.
Valencia owned 80% of your rights, so why is it you ended up at Roma and not Valencia?
I can speak openly, there is nothing to hide. It was a matter of difference between the two offers, not on an economic level — there wouldn’t have been a single Euro change between Roma and Valencia. It’s actually for a different reason: for example, (Roma manager) Paulo Fonseca called me directly and explained to me why he wanted me in Rome.
The truth is that the idea of the Giallorossi was to buy me and then leave me on loan until June — for me, it was great. But then they called me: Fonseca had watched many of my games, we talked, and then they told me they wanted to buy me and keep me there. After this, I realised that their interest was very strong.
I spent three phenomenal years in Valencia, I was in love. But until Roma showed up, Valencia had never made themselves known to me, they never said they wanted me. I was doing very well with Elche and the Under-21 national team. Until Roma offered €5 million, I had not received anything from Valencia. It’s like the saying, “…now that they want you, we want you, too”.
Furthermore, one of the reasons that led me to accept Roma: the fact they paid €5 million for a player in the second division. They initially offered €3 million but then nearly doubled their offer. For an Italian club, this isn’t something easy to do. Valencia could have exercised their option to purchase my rights for €1 million, but Roma called my agent every single day and kept saying, “Why aren’t you here?” They were crazy about me. When a club like Rome is so crazy about you…so much so that I even started having doubts (laughs). So after all these details I made this decision with my family, a very difficult one, but I think it was the right choice.