New Roma coach Daniele De Rossi spoke to the press ahead of his first match against Verona, saying the Giallorossi are not a club that he could refuse. The former club captain took over the reins after Jose Mourinho was sacked earlier this week, and speaking in his first presser, the new coach revealed that he’s already spoken with club legend Franceso Totti:
“First training session? I smile. Not because of the question, but because I see faces I know and didn’t think I would find. When you change coach the first training sessions always go at three thousand miles an hour. The first training sessions give an answer up to a certain point. We have to see how long we’ll keep going. But for now they go at two thousand. They seem to be able to absorb those 2-3 new concepts that we want to introduce. They seem like sponges and I thank them for that.
“We spoke to Tottti. He wished me well, he told me he was amazed, but I was too. Now he’s going to China, but we’ll see each other soon. We’ll spend some time together, which is always nice for us.
“I’d be happy if we’re in the top four at the end of the season. I think it’s a goal to aim for. Not easy, but achievable. When you change coach… I went through that a year ago. It seemed to me that things weren’t so bad, for the club obviously they were. It’s something that happens. I have to try to start from scratch and see which things I think are not working. I am lucky because as a fan I have seen almost every game. With a fan’s eye you watch games in a distracted way, but it’s the team I know the most.
“Was it the right time to turn Roma down? I ask the question jokingly… you don’t turn down Roma. It’s a bit like what happened to Pirlo. There are men who refuse and men who jump. I didn’t accept out of nostalgia. I made a quick analysis of the values of this team. I would have said no if I thought the team was poor. I don’t go and make a bad impression if I am sure I will make one. We’ll see where we arrive in a few months’ time.
Years ago De Rossi revealed he couldn’t stand the expression ‘my football’. Now the new coach has returned to the subject
“My football is something that gives me the creeps. I’ve also heard it from coaches I respect. If Guardiola would say ‘my football’… OK we can listen to him. Because he has changed football, the same goes for De Zerbi, Simeone, Conte, who have moved something in football. I don’t think I’m at their level. Good coaches you recognise by how a team plays, even if they haven’t invited anything. If this team is recognisable and the players know what to do, I will be happy. Being remembered for someone who makes teams play well and wins, that’s enough for me.
“The presidents were very clear about the length of the contract and the tenor of my stay. I said OK, that’s fine, but I want a bonus for the Champions League. I didn’t sign blank, because the contract already had the cfira on it, but I would have done it. They put the figure in. It’s a due gesture for what I’ve done here. It’s a six-month contract, there are no clauses. I only asked to be treated as a coach, not as a bandiera. I don’t want to do the rounds with Romolo and the kids. They agreed. From the first second I heard them, I told them that I will play to the death to stay here. And they know it, I think they are happy about that. I won’t resort to what I’ve been, I’ll play on the field for reconfirmation because it would be a dream for me’.