Roma manager Paulo Fonseca held his first press conference today since being named the new boss of the Giallorossi. These are his words:
“Hello, everyone. I’m very happy to be here. I’m very motivated to work in this city and for this wonderful club. I’m still studying Italian in order to speak to you all as soon as possible, but today I’ll have to speak Portuguese.”
Tomorrow the Roma season begins. How do you imagine your team?
It will not be my Roma, but everyone’s. I am motivated, together with the management and the players, to build an ambitious side that makes our supporters proud.
How do you picture your relationship with the supporters? Do you have a memory from when you faced Roma here?
Obviously I don’t have a great memory of that evening because my team was eliminated, but it was enough to understand the air that was breathed that day. I would like to try to motivate the supporters to help spur on our environment, which our team suffered from that evening.
What impact will you have on the market to reinforce the team? Why did you choose Pau Lopez?
We are working hard to build a strong team and we are studying our needs. We are pondering the choices in order to bring quality to the team. We made three purchases, we’ll let you know when there’s more. We are carefully considering our choices, to bring quality profiles to reinforce the team.
Does Higuain have the right profile?
I am in complete harmony with Petrachi and with what he said. It is not my intention to talk about players who are not here. If he comes, we’ll talk about him, but I don’t want to talk about operations that haven’t happened.
What objective has Pallotta given for this season?
He has not set concrete goals, but I am forcing myself to immediately get us back into the Champions League. Another priority is to build a strong and ambitious team. We always want to win, but we still have to make our supporters proud even when we don’t do so. We’ll get close to the finish line if we can achieve this. I won’t promise anything, but it’s my belief. I have a two-year contract here with an option for an additional year, but I am convinced that we can win something. It is not a promise but a conviction.
Will you talk to Dzeko to try and keep him? What about Zaniolo and his talent?
I will start with Zaniolo: he has great talent and we believe in him. But what I’ll say to him is true to anyone who is part of the current squad: they must demonstrate in training that they deserve to wear this shirt. I have huge ambition and I think we can do so many things with this team and this talent. The most important thing is the presence of players who want to sacrifice themselves for this shirt and put the interests of the team ahead of their own. As for Dzeko, I haven’t spoken to him but Gianluca has had the chance to do so. I want people to stay here who are motivated and happy and want to fight for this club. This is a fundamental condition: I want players dedicated to the cause and willing to pursue the goals of the team.
Two Romans left and another two remains: will they be the captain and vice-captain? How do you plan to use Florenzi and Pellegrini?
I know these two players well because I have faced them and watched many Roma matches. For me, it is important to get to know them well — not only on the pitch but from a character point of view, getting to know them as men. This isn’t true only for them. As for their roles, we’ll have to see and analyse things calmly. To close this talk: we often talks about the needs of a team. I will demand something from both my players and the club
(To Petrachi) Could Zaniolo and Florenzi actually leave this summer?
I’m sorry but today is about the manager, he’ll answer the questions. It’s inappropriate to talk about the market today. I was happy to do so a few days ago, but not today. When we’re talking about the market I’m happy to discuss it.
Did you come here because you wanted to experience a foreign league or do you think Roma can actually win something?
I am here because I am convinced that I can elevate Roma to the next level. The league is difficult and very tactical, which is one of the reasons why I’m here in Italy. I believe that together we can build something special. I don’t base my decisions off economic considerations but on how I’m feeling and the sensations I get. After I spoke to Petrachi, I didn’t hesitate. I had no doubts. This is why I’m here and tomorrow I’ll start working because I want to build something special.
Will Florenzi be the captain of Roma?
Florenzi was the captain of the team and it is a question that we will analyse. The probability that he will continue to be so is very high.
You’re the eighth manager of the Roma-Americana: do you have any fear?
Fear is a feeling I don’t know…I’m not afraid. The results are what matters. The manager is the results.