Ebrima Darboe: “Younger players need a coach like Mourinho.”

Ebrima Darboe and Jose Mourinho of AS Roma
Andy Mattioli

Roma midfielder Ebrima Darboe – whose future at the club remains uncertain as the youngster awaits his chance to earn more playing time – was presented in a new FIFA documentary, titled Rome’s Adopted Son.

In it, the 20-year-old discussed his development in the Italian capital as well as his collaboration with Roma managers, ranging from Alberto De Rossi’s Primavera to Mourinho’s first team.

“Roma for me is like a family, they helped me a lot,” said the Gambian international. “They made me realize how much they believed in me. Because when I arrived I wanted to continue school and they helped me in doing so.”

“I recently created a foundation, an academy with which I can help the children of my country and ultimately help them have a better future.”

“Growing up in Gambia was different, I went playing football with friends without shoes on, just barefoot… We played most of the day and had a lot of fun. But the kids in Africa risk their lives, because you go to school, you finish school and you don’t have a job.”

“I left for Italy without notifying my parents, because if they had known they would not have let me go, I was very young. But I decided to leave to seek a better life. I started my trip with a football because I always liked to have the ball with me, to play in my spare time, but during the journey the fun didn’t last long.”

“De Rossi was like a father to me. He helped me a lot in my growth. I arrived as an attacking midfielder and then I played as a mezz’ala and central midfielder with him on the sidelines.”

“Fonseca made my dreams come true by giving me a chance to make my senior debut. Thanks to the Primavera I understood what the derby meant.”

“Mourinho is great and gives you a lot of motivation and advice, even off the pitch. Younger players need a coach like him. He’s tough, but he helps you grow.”

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