Di Francesco, De Rossi speak ahead of Madrid showdown

John Solano

Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco and midfielder Daniele De Rossi spoke today in Madrid ahead of the Giallorossi’s meeting with the Spanish side tomorrow. These are their words:


Is enthusiasm waning? What are the solutions you can find?
The Champions League hasn’t even started yet, so I think it’s a bit early to suggest enthusiasm is on the wane. It’s up to us to raise enthusiasm through our performances. I hope we’ll see a team playing with real grit and determination tomorrow.

Have you asked the players to be aggressive? What differences do you see between Zidane and Lopetegui?
It’s still early, having no Ronaldo gives me the idea that they’re even more of a team now. They fall asleep less and push on a bit more. They have not lost quality, they use a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, but I won’t say what we will use. We must have the ability to improve, with Chievo, I saw quality in our attacking maneuvers but we missed some things defensively.

How does a team change after Cristiano Ronaldo?
To say whether it is better or worse is not the time, it’s too soon to judge. I like Asensio, I think he’s the future of Real Madrid thanks to his technical qualities. He is not Ronaldo due to his characteristics but he works very well for team, his teammates and he has quality. Let us remember that Real Madrid are known throughout their lives as Real Madrid, not Real Ronaldo.

Are you more worried about the defence or Dzeko?
Dzeko interests me in a relative manner, attackers smile when they’re scoring. His characteristics always allow him to help us. The defensive phase is more worrying, we will try to work better on this, now is the time for us to give better continuity defensively. We have to work better as a team and not talk about a single department. The problem must be solved by all together.

Which player of Real Madrid would you like to remove?
It is difficult to choose, but there is a player who has so many qualities, it’s Ramos. A defender, midfielder and attacker…he can do everything with lots of quality.

Costa received only a four match ban after spitting at your son.
I am outraged by what has been said about my son. Federico’s a good man and I’m proud as a father. It’s absurd that he didn’t get an apology. It’s almost like he’s been found guilty even though he’s the victim.


What more can be asked of you in this competition after last season?
We all know we have to do better. It’s not easy to compare us against Barca in April with the start we’ve had this season. We didn’t start great last term either but we ended up having a good season. Hopefully the same will happen this year.

There have been many sales this summer.
Ever since I’ve played for this club players have been sold. It happens, and then they’re replaced. Selling players is a natural process: Roma is constantly evolving as a team.

Is it this right match to re-launch the team?
It does not seem to me the best match to start over again, but if you look at supposed simple matches like the one on Sunday, where we didn’t get a result, this could give us a boost of confidence, it could remind us how strong we were a few months ago and help us get back to that.