Interviews

Ex-Roma man Riccardo Calafiori reflects on Jose Mourinho’s teachings

Andy Mattioli
I

Former Roma defender Riccardo Calafiori discussed his recent return to Serie A after a brief spell at Basel.

Sold to Basel in 2022, Calafiori reflected on the importance of Jose Mourinho’s teachings in his career as well as his Roma debut with former head coach Paulo Fonseca.

In his press conference for Italy’s U21 national team, Calafiori – now a Bologna player – said, “I made my debut with Fonseca, Mourinho forged my character and personality, while with [Bologna coach] Thiago Motta I tried things that tactically I had never seen.”

“At Bologna we train defensive solidity and it shows in the game: it is the sign of a united team. Motta has in common with Mourinho the fact that he asks you for 200% in every training session and that he makes his choices by looking at what you give on pitch.”

“Fonseca used to make you feel calm before sending you out to play, which was important for me,” he added.”

“The experience in Switzerland was a fundamental experience for my footballing and personal growth. A choice I would make again, because it allowed me to have continuity: I always try to go to teams where I can have more space. Even in the summer I learned of the interest of perhaps more famous clubs, but maybe I would have gone to play half the matches that I now play with Bologna. I chose Bologna, I signed on for four years and I’m very happy to play for Bologna.”

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