Interviews

Daniele De Rossi responds to Lazio President Claudio Lotito

Andy Mattioli
I

Roma manager Daniele De Rossi made it a point to respond to Lazio President Claudio Lotito.

The Biancocelesti Chairman was recently heard diminishing Evan Ndicka’s sudden collapse in the match against Udinese, claiming it was no excuse to not continue the game.

De Rossi addressed this controversial statement in his pre-match press conference ahead of Roma-Bologna.

“I had prepared for this one… Here is a tweet from 20:42 that day, from the official SS Lazio account, which read: ‘Forza Evan, we are with you.’ And I have never seen a tweet from a football team over a code yellow. So obviously, at 20:42, when we had just left the stadium, there was a perception that it might be something very serious.

“It wasn’t and I think we should all be happy. I don’t think anyone should hold it against us that our friend, our boy didn’t die, that he’s not still in hospital recovering from a heart attack. I spoke about the rot you see on social media, with people who write things like: ‘There’s nothing wrong with him, you did it to get another 20 minutes.’

“I think out of 30,000 people at the stadium, there wasn’t a single one who may have thought we had an advantage by not finishing the game. You know, you say: ‘You suspended it in the first half, we were playing badly, you played smart.’

“In the second half the momentum after Lukaku’s goal was all our way. If you were really to go and judge the usefulness of that stoppage, we’ve got something that goes very much against our interests and of the result.

“I’ll say it again, if it’s direct messages from 15-year-old kids or die-hard fans who only see the football result, who don’t see any further than their own noses, it’s annoying for the first 15 seconds, then it passes.

“If we do that too, within the football system, even with the talks we had with Butti, Casini, this is what happens. As if the fact that he didn’t die, or that it wasn’t very serious, was our fault, our mistake. As if it wasn’t enough that we were very scared that one of our players, one of our friends, one of our comrades, one of our footballers – who could be a player for any team. It’s a shame, a pity. We lose that momentum that we should all have to improve a little bit.

“And I’m sorry that the president has done it too. I have a good relationship with him – beyond our respective affiliations. But this time he made a mistake – he said something that should not have been said. I read that he perhaps said it in front of a buffet, in a particular situation, maybe he just took a swing. But we always miss opportunities to take a step forward in these situations. Above all, we, the football world, should be more sensitive. If someone puts concern for the life of a person, friend, comrade and player first, we should all agree, as Udinese did, as did other people in the football world who showed solidarity. Not only at 20:42, but up until today.”

Match Center

MatchDay 38
26 May 20:45
Empoli
EMP
Roma