Eusebio Di Francesco looks back on the ‘doomed’ Champions League semifinal with Roma

Andy Mattioli

Ex-Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco recently looked back on his career highlight and the event that marked his career downfall.

In an interview with Cronache di Spogliatoio, Di Francesco – now back at the helm of Serie A side Frosinone – reflected on his greatest achievement, namely the Champions League semifinal with Roma in 2018, and the impact it had on his eventual fall from grace in the Italian capital.

Di Francesco spoke openly about the choices he made following his departure from Roma which resulted in three consecutive disappointing and short-lived spells at Sampdoria, Cagliari and Hellas Verona.

“I’ve had too many disappointments. And I’ve disappointed as well,” said the Italian technician. “There are many components that make up the luck and skill of a coach: I was neither good nor lucky. Certainly, not in the choices I made: I went to the right places but at the wrong time.”

“Roma-Barcelona was the most beautiful night of my life, but also the beginning of my downfall. After Roma, I understood that nothing can be taken for granted. It never belonged to me as a concept, but it can automatically happen. I continue to do what I used to do, I’ve just reviewed some aspects and eliminated what I think is no longer needed.”

“Roma-Barcelona was special. In the preceding 4 days, we had trained really, really well. After the third goal, if you look at the images, I’m the only one who doesn’t rejoice. There was still too much missing. Florenzi ran towards me screaming: “I can’t believe it!”. I replied: “You have to believe it, but to do it you have to get back on the pitch.” The players were daydreaming, overwhelmed by emotions and amped up by the atmosphere at the stadium. Barcelona only had two shots that evening, both in the final minutes. We were on another planet on an emotional level.”

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