Pellegrini loving life under Mourinho: “He is obsessed with winning.”

Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini released a lengthy interview to the club’s official channels where he talked about his time at the club and life under Jose Mourinho.

On becoming captain last season:

“Roma-Spezia was a turning point, but it came in a rather unpleasant way. Becoming the captain for me is an incredible honour as well as a responsibility, but I would have liked to become one differently.”

“At that moment the club considered it appropriate for me to become captain, but for me Edin Dzeko remained the captain even without the armband. I was previously his vice-captain, or as Mancini and Cristante still are to this day.”

The fondest memory from last season:

“It’s the return leg with Ajax because in my opinion it was the strongest team of the competition and against them we played with a lot of effort, both in Amsterdam and in Rome.”

“At the final whistle we realised that we had accomplished a feat and that we had to aim to go all the way.”

On the disappointing defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League semifinal:

“Lots of regrets. The game ends and you find yourself with many unanswered questions in your head.”

“I don’t know if it happened in history that three players were injured in the first half. Important players such as Veretout, Spinazzola and Pau Lopez. Jordan after two minutes, so the game we had prepared changed completely.”

“Despite this after the first half we were ahead 2-1,then what happened in the second half is still incredible today.”

On the news of Mourinho’s appointment:

“It was like lightning: no one expected news like this. When you announce such a coach, you create an enthusiasm that is what we continue to perceive in all matches at the Olimpico.”

“I feel chills every time we play, even on Monday night with Spezia there are 45,000 fans to support us, which for other teams does not happen.”

“This must give us the strength to move forward and make everyone proud, from the fans to all the people around us, from the staff to the employees.”

On Fonseca’s farewell:

“Mr. Fonseca has always tried to convey his way of thinking about football to us and for me he has left a legacy in many of us.”

“He taught me a lot, helped me grow and I will always thank him. I have a very good relationship with him. Situations like the one after Spezia in the Coppa Italia or like the pandemic and everything involved did not help him, but I’m sure he will find the right project for him and that he will still do well.”

On Mourinho’s arrival:

“The thing I like most about the boss is that he only cares about one thing: to keep working to try to win. This is what I want most of all too.”

“I’m 25 years old, I play at Roma and I want to win. Everyone in our line of work wants to realise themselves and I as a footballer want to win, I want to get first place.”

“Mourinho is exactly what Roma, players, employees, staff and fans needed. I think he’s the perfect person at the right time.”

On being the captain and having players look up to him:

“Everyone knows that I’m a very quiet guy off the field but whether it’s friendly match, football-tennis or ball possession training, I like to win. I ask a lot from my comrades and I think this is a fundamental thing.”

“I’m very attached to training, I’m among those who think that on Sunday you play as you trained during a week.”

“It is important to always keep the concentration high and be physically at best in order to put into practice what is prepared in the week. This is the mentality I try to convey to my comrades.”

On the challenge of finding consistency in performances:

“You work on all aspects, mental and physical even after the victories. After the preparation it happens to have a small physical drop-off and then return to being at your best.”

“There is also the tactical aspect, at the beginning of the campaign the teams are still all to be studied, during the season there are many things that vary, improve or worsen and then return to improve.”

“The important thing is to stay focussed on improving day by day. There is no possibility to stop, you can’t give up on any aspect and that’s what we do daily together with the coach.”

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