Roma manager Paulo Fonseca was interviewed in today’s of edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport and discussed a variety of topics. Here’s what he had to say:
There is a negotiation taking place and it’s possible Dan Friedkin could become the new president. Do you think a change of ownership could be a problem?
There is a lot of talk about this, but it doesn’t influence me or the team. I’m not the type who likes to imagine future scenarios. The management of the club is entrusted to Guido Fienga, who is doing a great job. I trust him.
You chat on the phone with potential reinforcements: has anyone ever said no?
No, everyone I spoke to came here, 100%. In my opinion, it is important that a player knows what the manager thinks of him and how he thinks of inserting him into the team. And then it is also important for me to understand if this player is motivated to come here.
Your initial judgement on Roma and Italian football?
Very positive, I am very happy with the team and Serie A. Of course, the season is very tough. There are strong teams and managers and every game is different, but it gives me a lot of motivation. By nature, I am optimistic. I think 2020 can be better than 2019.
Do you think our football is behind in the fight against racism and discrimination?
I am against all forms of racism and I think that this problem must be overcome together. Roma is at the forefront in this sense, but everyone together must fight to defeat any possible discrimination.
Have your season objectives changed?
No. The first one is to finish in the top four and go to the Champions League. Having said that, I won’t change my mind: by strengthening this team during the course of contract, I believe we can win something. We play to win. The Coppa Italia isn’t easy — we’re playing Parma and then perhaps Juventus, but we will try. The Europa League has turned into a mini-Champions League given the great teams that are there, but we certainly won’t neglect this competition.
The controversy involving Florenzi: because of the National team, if it was you: would you stay or leave?
I don’t have to put myself in his shoes. I understand it — but what is happening to him with the national team also happens to others. I am aware of what he represents for clubs and supporters. He is a great professional, we have never had any problems, I have an excellent relationship with him. He always remains a technical option, but this also applies to other players. I must think only of the good of Roma. I can’t think about whether Florenzi plays in the national team or not, even if I understand the situation.
Do you expect Smalling to stay?
Yes, he is a great player, who has adapted very well to Italian football. He likes it here at Roma and the group likes him.
What do you think of the city?
I am in love with Rome and when you are in love you only see the positive aspects — you do not notice the negative aspects. In my eyes, the city seems perfect, beautiful, despite not having had the opportunity to discover all of it yet. Plus I really like the Roman people. I love going out and going on a walk — the people are always affectionate. I live near San Pietro because I always thought I wanted to live in the middle of it all so I can enjoy the city. Knowing the history of a place is a very important thing. I’m satisfied with my choice.
Let’s be honest: do you think you will stay here long?
Results always affect our lives. In addition to the city, I would like to stay at a club which makes me feel at home. Roma is one of the most important clubs in the world: I’d like to stay here for a long time.