Sabatini talks Zaniolo, Roma, Pastore and more

John Solano

Ex-Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini was interviewed today by TeleRadioStereo. These are his words:

“I would like to start this morning by addressing something that was sent to me from a website in good faith, I think. I have to remove myself from anything in regards to Zaniolo. Of course, everyone who like to be considered the discoverer of such a talent, but I wasn’t. When I arrived at Inter, the operation had already set by Ausilio and I only approved it. I do not want to rob him of something well done. But it’s also been said that I helped give Zaniolo to Roma, it’s not like that, I did not do this and it embarrasses me. I have to deny this news. The player is in Rome and was brought there by Monchi, who deserves all the credit —- just as Ausilio does for having brought him to Inter”.

How much do you feel that it’s your Roma?
Less and less, because the percentage of players on the pitch is always less. When it’s four or five it’s at 30% and when it’s less than that it’s 20%, but then it is irrelevant. However, emotionally and sentimentally, I will always feel it is mine because everything that happened then is a continuation of what happened before. Roma is something that concerns me and will always concern me.

I’ve hardly ever heard someone speak of Roma in the way you do.
Roma was my destiny and my destiny also means my life. It is not just a sporting fact. And it continues to be so. However, I’m at Samp now and must give them my full attention and not worry about clubs who aren’t under my care. Although, yesterday I did a little something that did concer Roma. I did an interview about Roma because it was about the memory of Davide Astori, so many things came back to my mind. This conversation is to give credit to Ausilio and Monchi for Zaniolo.

How will Roma end the season?
By entering the Champions League and hoping to qualify for the next round against Porto. The team is healthy and ultimately also lucky, which is a relevant component. They will go to the Champions League and qualify for the quarter-finals.

What do you think of Pastore?
The performance of Pastore embarrasses me very much, I was lucky enough to see him play dominating on the pitch. I saw stadiums standing for him, even away ones, such as when he was applauded in Florence. I’m very sorry to see him play like this, I told him this —- he has to rediscover his Argentine pride and return to his own level and play as you know how. He has to do something, nobody can help him. Pastore must play well to be appreciated, he is not a mediano who runs up and down the pitch, he is a phantom attacking player and an all-out playmaker. He’d do well with Giampaolo’s game but this could create a situation I might not want.

What is the real difficulty of being an executive and working here in Rome?
We must be ironic and self-deprecating because otherwise you can’t live in Rome, I was living through the situation poorly.

We are appreciating the Dzeko-operation with guilty delay: how was this born?
It was born because I had the feeling that Roma had to have a new hero after Totti. A team like Roma without a hero is struggling, but the wages of the player and his were heavy for that Roma, but in the end, we concluded the deal well.

Would you return if you and Pallotta made peace?
Let’s leave that be and let me do my work. Forza Roma!