Interviews

Tiago Pinto discusses Roma tenure, Dybala, Mourinho and more

Andy Mattioli
I

Ex-Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto gave an extensive interview to Sky Sport about his tenure in the Italian capital.

In the interview, Pinto reflected on his spell at Roma including the deal for Paulo Dybala and his collaboration with former coach Jose Mourinho.

On Roma’s current positive streak, Pinto said, “I’m happy for the results, for Daniele, for the players. You can also leave, but for a sporting director the players will always be his players, to do my job well I must have total affinity, motivation, drive, all the things that are needed for my job.”

“I don’t do this job without this passion, three years in Rome certainly bring a lot of fatigue into one’s life. I felt Roma deserved better, someone more akin to the Pinto they saw at the beginning of my tenure.”

“De Rossi asked me to stay when he first arrived. We have always had a good relationship, even before his arrival. He understood how I worked, he understood that I help out the coaches, for him I could be a sort of stable figure, he was able to count on me until the end, but I would never have changed my decision to leave.”

“Mourinho’s dismissal? That was a very difficult day for everyone. I’m still young, I don’t know if older sports directors manage such situations differently. I die the moment a coach has to be fired. The emotions are too high, it was a collaboration of two and a half years coming to an end.”

“I have always been a soldier, it is normal for there to be a bit of a mess in the relationship between sporting director and coach, but I have always been close to the project and the club, even if the ideas are different. There are things that happen during the season, when things don’t go well evaluations have to be made, all the decisions made were collective, we even won 3-4 games in a row after that infamous debacle at Genoa.”

“A player has never arrived without Mourinho’s approval, then I would have been a liar if I had said that the players who arrived were the club’s first choice, this is not the case.”

“Mourinho was always involved, the recruitment process has always been clear, from the players who have gone well to those who have gone badly, no player has belonged to Tiago Pinto or Mourinho. It also has to be said that Mourinho didn’t always get the players he wanted. The players we signed were the ones we could take, but no player arrived in Rome without Mourinho’s knowledge.”

“Dybala? It made me very happy to sign him, but we signed three players on free transfers who are worth a lot today, like Svilar. You look at them and think it was a good job, with all the difficulties we had, with the choices we made, today you look at the team and you have these free agents who have good value on the current market, young people who have value on the market, you have great players like Dybala or very strong players you have renewed in recent years.”

‘We managed not to sell the most important players apart from Ibanez and Zaniolo, but it’s not like we always sold the best piece, we have Pellegrini, Cristante, El Shaarawy, Mancini who remained with us. I was happy when we signed Dybala.”

“But I’m very happy for Svilar, for me he’s always a kid. I knew him from my time at Benfica in 2017, we went through my journey at Benfica together, then he came with me to Rome, he suffered a lot and grew a lot, he will be among the best in the world.”

“The defeat in the Europa League final? What I remember is that it was humanly difficult to manage the hours following that defeat. We are professionals, we put everything in, you feel that you don’t want to lose and you feel that feeling of injustice. You feel the sadness, the bitterness, the conflict, the messes. It was perhaps the only day in my career where I felt the physical impact on my emotions.”

“I think we played a good match, but the difference between winning and losing is a detail, then the final was controversial due to the refereeing. It was a crucial moment for me, after those 72 hours of great difficulty we played against Spezia and Abraham got injured. We knew that we would have lost him for a long time, we had that obligation under the settlement agreement to carry out certain operations until June and at the end of June I thought to myself and perhaps it was at that moment that I made the decision to leave, I was at the limit. I then recovered and we had a good summer transfer market.”

“My mistakes? There have been signings that didn’t pay off, like Shomurodov or Renato Sanches. I don’t see the market as a competition, I think that a club that has a director, a medical department, a medical staff, helps the players. In my opinion the market represents 20-30% of the team, 70-80% is the daily newspaper.”

“There were signings that didn’t go well, others that perhaps weren’t spectacular at a certain moment, like Rui Patricio who is criticized today but he made us win the Conference League. As sporting directors, If a player doesn’t do well on the pitch, I must not make the club lose what it has invested. Like Vina, it didn’t go as we expected, but we didn’t lose out economically when we sold him. I can’t let my club lose twice. I had to manage some things differently, at a certain moment maybe I had to stop, I had to reduce the wage bill, sign great players, win, keep up with the settlement agreement, but our ambition is so great that I tried.”

“Dybala’s future? He is a great person, I admired him as a player and as a person and now I admire him more, he is a golden child, a spectacular professional and he is happy in Rome. I think the city and the fans made him happy.”

“How would I like Roma fans to remember me? Like a sporting director who never shied away from admitting his mistakes. But the relationship with the people I worked with is important. I found a family, people who work hard as physiotherapists, the women’s team, the press office, everyone works with passion for the club and I would like to be remembered as a good, just person.”

Match Center

MatchDay 38
26 May 20:45
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