Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matić has been training as a new Roma player for the past few weeks at the orders of Jose Mourinho, Matić’s long-time coach from their days at Chelsea and Manchester United.
The veteran player described his first impressions as a Giallorossi in a recent interview with Il Messaggero.
First, Matić was asked about Paulo Dybala’s decision to join Roma as a fellow free agent: “He is a player who will bring that extra quality that will be needed to achieve important results in the future.”
He added, “I played against him and I know how dangerous he can be. He’s the right fit for us.”
“I don’t have any problems handing him the 21 jersey. When he first arrived, he asked me about it and I told him no problem.”
When asked about what he himself can still bring to the table at the age of 33, Matić replied, “With my experience I can bring stability on the pitch and help the younger players and push the team to improve overall.”
Then, the player was asked about Mourinho and their partnership at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. “It’s clear that there is a need to win something inside both of us. It’s too early to talk about, but we’ll see as the season progresses.”
Matić detailed his decision to join the club, “Right after I left United, I got a phone call from Mourinho. It took him less than five minutes to convince to come here. I immediately told him yes.”
“He simply has something more than other coaches,” continued the midfielder.
“Mou motivates you, he encourages you because he is the first to be hungry for victories. I think I know him quite well and I can assure you that I have never seen him satisfied. Or rather, he can be after a match his team won, or after a trophy but 5 minutes later… that’s when he is already thinking about tomorrow!”
“And this way of being fascinates you. So for every player it becomes a privilege to be trained by him. If we add that wherever he goes he gets important results, we understand why every player aspires to play for him.”
Finally, when asked about Roma players that stood out to him, the Serbian veteran replied, “Frankly I prefer to focus on the younger players.”
“Yes, there are a couple of them that impressed me. One is Volpato. You can see immediately that he has something different in his legs. He has great potential.”
“And then there is another one. I am torn about naming him because he is a 16 year old boy and the less he is talked about the better off he is. By now it will be understood, I am referring to Ivkovic. But leave him alone, he’s got a lot of growing up to do.”