Di Francesco, Florenzi speak ahead of Shakhtar

John Solano

Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco and right back Alessandro Florenzi spoke today at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s second leg against Shakhtar Donetsk. These are their words:


Dzeko returns after the suspension. What sort of moment is this for him?
I’ve seen him improving along with the team. We all have the goal of qualifying to get to the quarterfinals. As a team, we know that we have a striker up front that, if it’s his day and he has opportunities, he can score extraordinary goals and put the team in a position to be able to score as he did in the first leg. He will be decisive as will the whole team.

A review of the first leg?
It’s a bit of what I said before. I want to see the team gain continuity. We can’t stop performing after taking the lead, we must have good balance and intelligence and continuity in our performance. In the defensive phase, we committed too many individual errors, we can not afford these in tomorrow’s match.

Have you prepared for penalties?
Obviously yes, in football nothing is taken for granted and it is only right to prepare for penalties. We are prepared and we will prepare ourselves today too.

Is this the most important match of your career?
I do not compare myself to others. I have not even thought about it. I have a strong desire to bring this team to the quarterfinal; the personal aspect doesn’t matter, because I hope I can do even better, let’s keep our eye on the objective. It’s a great opportunity, both for me and for the whole team. I don’t think about myself much, I think more about the team as a single entity and I feel very integrated into this context.


What does this match mean? How do you approach it?
We’re approaching an important match, one that can be valuable to us and for Roma. Qualification is at stake and it would be the fourth time in Roma’s history that we’d play in the quarter-final. We want to approach this match well and do our best.

How important will time management be in the match?
It will be important to manage our strengths for 90 minutes, but we must try to play our football, where you’re moving at a thousand kilometers per hour. We have to gain a quick boost in the match, we have to immediately unlock the match and continue with our style of play for 90 minutes or as long as we can manage.

At home, Roma have had different results in Champions League than in the league. How do you explain that?
The desire we have is to repeat the performances at home in the Champions League. We managed to do well against Torino, we want to qualify. We will have to be attentive to their qualities.

Your contract expires in 16 months. At what point is the situation?
I do not think it’s the right place and time to talk about this, at the moment. I am used to thinking about the present. The present, for me, is the match. It is one of the most important matches of the season. We must give 100% tomorrow, we know how much this game is worth, for us players, but above all, for the environment in Rome and for the supporter, it is really worth a lot.