Ex-Roma midfielder Cristiano Scapolo recalls spell under Zdeněk Zeman

RomaPress – Cristiano Scapolo has very positive memories when looking back on his brief spell with Roma.

The former midfielder, who is currently an assistant coach in America with FC Cincinnati, joined the Giallorossi in 1998 on a free transfer from Bologna.

However, a series of injuries limited his availability and he departed Roma for Napoli less than one year later.

Although his spell in the Italian was brief, Scapolo admitted that his lone season under manager Zdeněk Zeman had a profound impact on him on him both as a player and a future coach.

“He was very demanding, as he should be,” explained Scapolo to The Italian Football Podcast.

“Maybe defensively he could’ve made some adjustments. I recall one episode that happened before we played Juventus. He told us that if we moved well, we wouldn’t need to man-mark anyone in their (Juve’s) midfield.”

He continued, “But at the team meeting, Aldair said, ‘OK, Mister, but they have Zidane in midfield, shouldn’t we mark him?'”

“However, Zeman simply replied, ‘No, no we should be fine,’ and Aldair started laughing along with everyone else in the room.”

“But that was Zeman. He has his personality and was a very funny guy—but when it comes to the attacking phase, he was one of the best.”