Claudio Ranieri: “Mourinho will give this team more balance. I wanted Shomurodov at Samp.”


Former Roma manager Claudio Ranieri spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about Mourinho’s arrival in the capital, the team’s expectations and objectives for the season and more.

Do you like this Roma?

“Yes, very much. To be honest with you they made a good impression on me last season too, under Fonseca who emphasises attacking football, having a lot of guys on the opponent’s half even if it means conceding something behind.”

“The team was already solid and with Mourinho it will find more balance. I’m sure in the end the team will reach the Champions League.”

Do you think something’s missing from the team?

“The base is good. Sure, you still need a midfielder who plays as a proper regista, who can lead the team. But Veretout and Cristante are great, they run a lot, work hard, they know how to intercept a lot of balls and launch them forward.”

“Cristante could play similarly to Zanetti. And then there is Karsdorp who is great at pushing forward on the right side. Zaniolo is great at cutting in the middle of the pitch. And then there’s something else.”

“I really like the impact Shomurodov has had on the team. I wanted him at Sampdoria. Even before he arrived at Genoa. He’s got pace, he knows how to attack empty spaces, and he’s great at holding up the ball when it matters most.”

“I think he’s shown that he knows how to score goals. He’s not a selfish player. I am fully on board with him.”

What impression has Mourinho on you so far in his time at Roma?

“A very positive one. He’s won everything and he knows how to lead a team. The Romanisti will love him. They love these types of coaches.”

“José needs to feel the energy and love around a club and that will give him the extra push at Roma.”

Why do you think he’s accepted this challenge?

“I think that he was always fascinated by this intensity of this fanbase. I also want to congratulate the Friedkins on how they went out and got him in the first place. Nobody knew a thing about it.”

“I like this ownership. They don’t talk much, but they’re always present.”