Calafiori encouraged by his development under Mourinho

Riccardo Calafiori, currently away on international duty for Italy’s U-21, spoke to Rai Sport where he detailed his relationship with Mourinho, his desire to play for his boyhood club becoming a reality, and more.

“My dream has always been to stay with Roma as long as possible. I am happy to be part of this group, it has been my dream since I was a child.”

“There has been some setback due to injuries but in the end it helped become stronger. I don’t think about it anymore.”

On working with Mourinho:

“This is my second season as a professional in football. At 19, working for someone like Mourinho is a great achievement, and it definitely spurs you on to do better and better.”

“When it comes to this he is one of the best, on a psychological level he always knows the right word to use when he has to compliment you. When you do something wrong he puts the right pressure on you.”

“In my opinion I’m growing a lot from a character point of view but also on the pitch because he is really one of the best. At the beginning he still needed to get to know me, so I had to show him the kind of player I was and what kind of man I was.”

“Surely now I feel a lot of trust in him, his staff and the club. We continue like this and we hope to do well.”

On his relationship with fellow left-back Leonardo Spinazzola, currently recovering from an injured Achilles tendon:

“He is first of all a friend and a very easy-going person, very good and very nice. He is always ready to give me advice and to help me, and then obviously he is an idol because as we saw in the last European championship he was in an incredible form and in my opinion he is one of the strongest left wing-backs in the world, at least in Europe.”

“Now he seems unattainable because he is ten years older than me, he has a whole different experience and another value, but surely this encourages me to improve.”

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