Interviews

Paulo Dybala talks life in Rome, Mourinho, rejecting offers from Saudi and more

Andy Mattioli
I

Roma attacker Paulo Dybala is about to enter his second season in the Italian capital.

In a recent interview with AS, Dybala discussed at length his life in Rome, the opportunity of working with Mourinho as well as rejecting several offers from Saudi Arabia during this latest summer window.

“I’m very happy with how everything is going. It had been years since I had the chance of completing pre-season from the beginning. It will be good for me,” said the Argentine forward.

“Saudi? I also received some offers but I rejected all of them because I feel good here. The fans here have treated me in a unique way. During the holidays I kept talking to Mou and we both wanted to give something more for this club.”

“We came close to achieving an important goal last season and were left with a bittersweet taste. I felt very comfortable from all points of view. Furthermore, at the end of the season we have a very important competition with the national team, doing well here will help me to be present to win the trophy I am yet to win with Argentina.”

“The defeat in Budapest was very sad. I managed to get called up for the final just a few days after coming off an injury, I was able to be there, to lend a hand to the team, and unfortunately that wasn’t enough. I think we deserved it, but Sevilla also had a very difficult path to reach the final. Penalties sealed their victory and we must congratulate them. For us it was a painful night.”

“Mourinho? Whenever I hear him speak about me with words of praise, well, I think that these are words coming from a coach who has worked with great champions and that is an enormous pleasure. I always say that it’s the group that makes me feel good and allows me to give my best. I am grateful to him, his staff and my teammates.”

“I have a lot of faith in myself, in the contribution I can make. If my teammates rely on me, it’s a wonderful responsibility. Sometimes it seems that we don’t have a very flashy gameplan, but it is always very effective and this brings out the individual achievements of the players.”

“We will try to improve in all competitions. We want to give a trophy to our people, who deserve it more than anybody else. With the reinforcements that have arrived and those that may arrive, we have a very good squad. We will try to be more aggressive, deeper, with a game that gives us more opportunities.”

“Morata? We are very close friends, he is almost one of the family, I have known him for a long time. Obviously it is not a viable option, but I would have loved to have him here in Rome with us.”

“Paredes? When I learned he could come, I called him every day, asking him for news and if I could help him in any way. I was very happy, I know he likes the city and the club a lot. The quality that he has will help us.”

“The passion and sense of belonging Roma fans have is very similar to the way football is experienced in Argentina. In Europe, for us who come from there, everything seems calmer, but here it’s different. People make you feel it from day one, many put the club first in their lives, even before their families. They prove it in every game: last year at the Olimpico there was always a full house. It was very nice to fight with them. When I arrived as a rival I saw the environment, but I didn’t experience it like I do now.”

“Totti? I saw him at Eto’o’s charity match in Milan. We didn’t talk much, because there were cameras all around us, but I am very grateful to him for the words he spent on me. Here he is considered a god, he is a legend for the fans and he has all my admiration.”

“My presentation as a Roma player? After the introductory conference, Director Tiago Pinto told me there would be a presentation, but I thought it was just a photo and some video for the club. I never imagined what would happen next. We were going towards the center, we passed in front of the Colosseum and I started to see people with flags… It was a really crazy moment. Sometimes you play in front of 70,000 people and you’re calm, I was nervous there. All those people were there for me, I had never played for them and I came from a rival team. I tried to enjoy it and live in the moment. I was recovering from a difficult period and they gave me great joy.”

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