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Nicola Zalewski after Conference League triumph: “I hope it’s just the beginning.”

John Solano

Roma youngster Nicola Zalewski was all smiles after his side defeated Feyenoord 1-0 this evening in Tirana, capturing the club’s first trophy since 2008.

The 20 year-old was one of the biggest surprises for the capital club this season, filling in superbly for the injured Leonardo Spinazzola and emerging as one of the team’s cornerstones for the present and future.

“Before the game I tried to tune out the historical nature of this match,” he told Sky Sport.

“Obviously there were a lot of emotions flowing coming into it, ultimately I think we deserved the victory and this trophy.”

“Mourinho told me my chance would come this season and this trophy is the result of all the hard work I put in throughout the year. Though, I hope this is just the beginning.”

Asked about Roma’s change of form in mid-February, Zalewski credited Jose Mourinho for helping the club turnaround the season.

“If I can only pick one, I’d say Mourinho was the man behind our change of fortune in the middle of the season. I’ve never seen him get emotional like this!”

“But if I could add others I’d also say the club and my teammates. We completely deserve this trophy.”

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