Ex-Roma player Bryan Reynolds reflects on ‘difficult’ years in Italy

Andy Mattioli

Former Roma fullback Bryan Reynolds reflected on his difficult switch from the MLS to Italian football and his subsequent move to Belgium.

In an interview with VoetbalNieuws, Reynolds – who completed a permanent transfer to Westerlo after an initial loan spell from Roma – spoke about the difficulties in adapting to the lifestyle in Italy and failing to earn minutes under Roma boss Jose Mourinho.

“It is very different. In the United States I knew everything and even in Rome it was completely different. To be honest, it was too hectic. It’s one of the most historic cities in the world and you can tell. You have many more temptations. I don’t come from a rich family, so when you go abroad for the first time it’s tempting to spend a lot of money in such an environment.”

“Furthermore, it wasn’t an easy period for me at Roma, because I didn’t play much. In Westerlo it is completely different. It’s much quieter here and that’s good, because it allows me to concentrate fully on football. This also contributed to me having a good season last year.”

“I didn’t expect to start playing for Roma straight away. I expected an adjustment period. I arrived at the club in January and the coach (Paulo Fonseca, ed.) who wanted me there left at the end of that season. José Mourinho replaced him. I didn’t have many opportunities with him, but that’s how it goes in football. But I also managed to learn from that.”

“Now I know what is expected of me at such a high level. I learned a lot from the players who played in my position: how they handled things and took care of themselves. I also got to know the real pressure of football there. If you get lost in Rome, it’s best not to go out.”

“I haven’t had much contact with Mourinho. He had his team of starters and he focused above all on them. Sometimes he would talk to me and give me some advice. I accepted it and did my best. But he remains a great coach who has already demonstrated a lot. I also learned a lot from him during training. The intensity he puts into every training session – for me it was unprecedented. He gets something out of a player like no other.”

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MatchDay 33
22 Apr 18:30