Roma legend Bruno Conti discusses early life, Italy’s World Cup, Mou & more

Andy Mattioli

Roma legend Bruno Conti, one of Italy’s greatest players and current head of the club’s youth sector recently published his autobiography “A Kids’ Game” and went on to speak to La Gazzetta dello Sport about his favorite memories with the Giallorossi.

“Life’s been beautiful, but full of sacrifices, starting with those of my parents, Andrea and Secondina. We had seven children, 4 girls and 3 boys sleeping together, each group in a bed,” said the former attacker.

“We lived in Nettuno and dad got up at 4 o’clock each morning to work as a bricklayer in Rome. I studied up to the fifth grade, I only got the middle school diploma in Genova in the evenings and I regret not having done more.”

“I started early to work as a bricklayer myself, then I transported 15kg worth of gas in cylinders but I was carefree.”

“Bologna and Sampdoria rejected me after I did some try-outs for them and the next day I was in the square playing football with my friends.”

Conti also mentioned his early love for baseball, “I was an excellent pitcher and some managers from Santa Monica in California saw me and asked my parents to let me go to the US. But at that point my dad was too obsessed with Roma.”

“Imagine this — years later, once he’d opened his own bar, he refused to serve Lazio fans who tried to get smart with him. In that sense, when I became a Roma player at 16 I realized his biggest dream.”

On working with legendary coach Liedholm and winning the World Cup in 1982, Conti said “Liedholm and Bearzot [manager of Italy between 1975 and 1986] were my new parents.”

“Before the World Cup in ’82, I had some issues with my knee and I was putting pressure on myself in order to recover in time for the tournament. Bearzot came to me and said, ‘Stay calm, don’t tire yourself too much. You’ll always have a spot in this team.’ You can’t imagine how relieved I was when I heard it.”

“Excluding personal matters, the most terrible feeling I’ve experienced came with Agostino Di Bartolomei’s death. He was my captain. It was a terrible and unexpected loss.”

When asked about the upcoming derby, Conti concluded, “I think about it and I live it the way each Romanista does. Don’t ask me to make predictions. I’ll just say that to me Mourinho is the undisputed number one. Is that enough for you?”

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MatchDay 28
10 Mar 15:00