Bologna’s Walter Sabatini reminisces on Rome tenure

Walter Sabatini of Bologna
John Solano

Outgoing Bologna executive and former Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini appeared on Radio Radio today and gave an extensive interview regarding his past and the question marks surrounding his future.

The 66 year-old is set to depart the Rossoblu after two seasons when his contract expires in June. Although he’s been linked to several clubs, including Genoa, Sabatini claims his future still hasn’t been decided.

“I’m not joining Genoa. My outlook with the management doesn’t align so given that, it’s not something I can or want to do,” he said.

“Would I go back to Roma? It’s a rhetorical question, so yes I would return, but no one is considering bringing me back and I’ve never been approached to go back.”

“Now in football they prefer to have directors that rely on algorithms. This is something I have to live with but I don’t want to become encoded and become another victim of algorithms.”

“I’m a Roma supporter, as is my son. Roma was my life, I have always said this and repeat it again today. Yes, I worked for Lazio previously and I thank Lotito for that because he pulled me out from a difficult personal situation.”

He added, “But everything I did at Roma was out of love.”

Sabatini was then asked about some of the successful managers he worked with in the Italian capital, including Luciano Spalletti and Rudi Garcia.

“With Spalletti we had 82 points, with Garcia 85…but unfortunately Juventus had 106. I’ve had wonderful managers throughout my career, but if I had to choose one, even though I know this won’t be taken well in Rome, I’d choose Spalletti.”

He continued, “But I also had others. There was Zeman, who played youngsters such as Marquinhos and Erik Lamela as first choice players from the beginning.”

“Then there’s Rudi Garcia, who came at a difficult time and took hold of the dressing room. Guys like De Rossi even came to me and said, ‘Did you realise we were this strong?’ The players knew they were capable of doing important things.”

“Then there’s the match against Juve where he played the violin. I’ll never forget, I spoke with Rocchi (the referee) and he told me that if he could remove one match from his entire life it would be that one: three dubious episodes, all in favor of Juve.”

“The result should’ve been different…even with a draw we could’ve won the Scudetto.”

Finally, the Italian was asked about which of the previous presidents that he worked under was the most difficult to work with.

“There’s Zamparini, Lotito, Pallotta, and Zhang. Zhang was like a demigod in China, he was considered beyond human, the economic power he had made me queasy.”

“It was always a tap dance with Zamparini. he knew a lot about football. As for Lotito, he had a lot of courage and took Lazio from a club with financial difficulties to the Champions League.”

Lastly, “As for Pallotta, I’ll skip over him…even if he did give me my Roma.”

Match Center

MatchDay 33
22 Apr 18:30