Roma attacker Nicolò Zaniolo released a lengthy interview to Sport Week where he discussed Roma’s first season with Jose Mourinho as well as Zaniolo’s own choices and mistakes throughout the 21/22 campaign, his return from injury, and more.
“This year went very well, from a physical point of view I had very few problems after two very serious injuries and that was the focus to be begin with,” said the 22-year-old about his first campaign back from injury.
“It was essential not to stop, it was essential to have continuity, go back to being a footballer and perform like I did.”
“It was crazy for anybody to think that I would return on the pitch after two years and manage to score 25-30 goals, I’m happy with how it went, even it meant only 8 goals.”
“Still, it was 8 goals and a trophy. The Conference League was our objective and we brought it home. I’m very happy.”
“It was an exhausting season, we played 50 games, of course we lost some points that we could have avoided losing, but we also built something important.”
“Roma had not played a final in a European competition for many years, we also won it, so it went well, very well.”
When asked about recent links to clubs like Milan and Juve, Zaniolo replied, “The interest of these great teams pleases me: if they think of you it means that you are worth it.”
“This way I train with even greater motivation: I want to show that it is right to be associated with these top clubs.”
On missing out on the derby in the second half to the season, “I accept the decisions of the coach, because ultimately he’s the one to decide, even if I wanted to play the derby really badly.”
“I also wanted to play in La Spezia, against my hometown team. Then I accept the coach’s choices, if he decided that way there was a reason, but I’m still a bit bitter about it.”
On working with Mourinho, the youngster said, “He is a winner, I don’t need to remind you what he won. And he taught me to enter the pitch and play on the defensive end, where I had to improve and I still have to continue improving.”
“He helped me manage certain situations: in the past I would have reacted badly or worse due to exclusion from games that were very significant for me. He taught me to bite my tongue: to keep your mouth shut off the pitch and work harder on the pitch.”
“The 3-5-2 formation does not bring the best out of my abilities, I prefer the 4-3-3 or the 4-2-3-1 but if the coach decides to play like this and put me up front, I have to give 100% there, for the team and to achieve the result we want to.”