ROME, ITALY - APRIL 03: Fans of AS Roma with banner "eighteen years of love" in support of Francesco Totti during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on April 3, 2011 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
A press conference was held this afternoon where Francesco Totti stressed the importance of signing top players if Roma wants to remain competitive for the upcoming season.
Here are some excerpts from today's presser :
Yes, I am feeling a bit of fatigue. It's tough training like this but I knew what to expect. I was lucky enough to work with Zeman 13 years ago. He makes you sweat hard and it's different to what we did with previous coaches. It's really tough but I'm sure it will pay off during the course of the season. From a physical point of view we'll be in top shape. As for me playing in a wide role, the boss has already said it's not a definitive solution. We'll see what the coach decides is best, but I have no problem with it. Admittedly, it is difficult playing on the flank.
I sure hope it's not going to be a transition season, because knowing the fans I'm not sure they're prepared to wait any longer. We players are no different: we go out there to win things. I wouldn't be happy with a transition season either, nor would the other players or the club. New signings? At the moment Roma aren't as competitive as Juve, Milan and Inter, we're a notch below them, but between now and when the season kicks off I hope we'll have signed some big players who can help as to challenge the other top teams. I know Sabatini said we won't be bringing in any 'top players', but you never know. I think every player wants to win; every player who sets foot on the pitch wants to win trophies. I always want to win and I want to do that before my contract expires.
THIRTEEN YEARS ON
Thirteen years after working with Zeman the first time round, I'm a more experienced and mature player now. But a player can't win games by himself: you need a competitive squad. It's good at the moment but it can be even better. We all know Zeman is a great person and a great coach who produces football that is enjoyable both for the fans and the players. That's why I think we have a good chance of achieving big things.
I've been impressed by Nico Lopez, Florenzi and Romagnoli, from both a physical and a technical point of view. Working with youngsters is Zeman's bread and butter and I hope these youngsters go on to do great things this season, though I'm not sure which of them will be staying here and which might be moving to other clubs. They're definitely good prospects for the future though.
I'd better not name names. I have the same names in my head but I don't think we can get them. But let's wait and see. As I said before, you win things with great players. When you have great players you have the chance to win the great things like the Scudetto.
OPEN DAY AND TOUR
The Open Day organized for 19 July is a great idea for the fans and for us too. I hope lots of people come along as always. You don't need me to tell the fans to come to the stadium, we know they will turn up in numbers. Our tour in the States is important because with the club's owners being American it's only right that we should make ourselves known in places where we've never been before. Roma has to become a household name throughout the world.
OSVALDO TO COME GOOD
A player I'd put my money on is Osvaldo. He's got every chance of having a fantastic season and he has the advantage of having played under Zeman at Lecce. He's capable of covering the attacking roles the coach wants. He's strong and skillful and he can certainly make his mark.
ZEMAN A SURPRISE?
I didn't expect to see him return, no. I'd heard rumours about other people being considered but it's fine with me that he's been brought in. At least this year they won't be able to say I was the one who picked the coach. I think the coach is important up to a certain point, but then it's up to the players to produce the goods on the pitch.
I think the club is in safe hands, even though the owners aren't here. They give a lot to the team, everything you need. Baldini? I have no problem with Franco; I have an excellent relationship with him based on mutual respect.
JUVENTUS AND CALCIO SCOMMESSE
I've read the same book as the coach and I've drawn my own conclusions about Juventus' Scudetti titles. TheCalcio Scomesse betting scandal? Let's wait for the verdicts and the end of it all... hoping that it does come to an end.
Problems getting the ball forward? Last year we did tend to play more across the pitch, yes. It's two different approaches to the game. We forwards will be better off if the team is trying to get the ball forward more quickly: there will be more goal-scoring opportunities. And I think that with a coach like Zeman you can score 80 to 90 goals a season and build something important. That's not to take anything away from what Luis Enrique did – I very much liked his work. Personal targets for the season? Knowing the coach's tactics and the way he wants to play I think I can get 20 goals. Even as an old man. If I get the chance to do so, that is; if I can stay fit and if I play.
Federer needs no introductions. At the end of the first half yesterday I ran inside to watch him. I promised him I'd go to see him at Wmbledon but our pre-season training camp had already started so I couldn't. You have to congratulate him: he's number one again at the age of 31. That just goes to show that if you can keep yourself fit, age is no barrier.
I think Nico has looked very good. He's a warrior - one of those players who never pulls out of a challenge. He has a strong physique and I knew he'd be back at the top even after such a serious injury. He's training with us again as we all expected him to.
Nobody thought Italy would reach the final. Unfortunately when it came to the last game, they came up against a team that was clearly superior and the lads didn't have much left in the tank. The whole squad deserves plaudits though, because they had an excellent tournament. I think De Rossi and Pirlo are the two players who dragged Italy into the final, but Balotelli also put in top performances against England and Germany: when he's on form he can really make the difference.
It's going to be very interesting to see what Baldini has to say in the upcoming days after hearing Totti today.
It's been a slow monday and a lot of people are starting to freak out because we are not signing "top" or let's say "big" name players and in all honesty this whole talk of a "big name player" is getting a little too ridiculous. Personally I don't think we are in a position to attract a big name player or a well established player without Champions League football. It's easy to look at other teams like Juventus and freak out but they just had an amazing campaign and have the money and above all else what some fail to understand is that it took them good 5 years to be in this position.
Another thing that's extremely important is if the "XYZ" player wants to play for Roma and believes in our project. If the player isn't interested then nothing can be done and I don't want us chasing such targets by throwing money at them - don't need mercenaries in Rome.
Two defenders who are capable of defending is what we need right now to complete our mercato. Ofcourse keeping in mind that we have Bradley and Copy & Paste in the bag along with Castan. Two more defenders without an identity crisis and I believe we can compete.
It's not going to be easy but we are not doomed either and again we have always wanted our young guys to shine, it's time we show some faith in them and hope they come good under Zeman.
The mercato is just 9 days old, so let's not freak out. I am sure it's safe to assume that Baldini knows the backline needs some working and will make sure Saba earns his paycheck.
Let's have some faith ragazzi.
In other news:
- Castan will be in Rome on July 16th, 2012.
- Greco doesn't want to move to Chievo which is why the Bradley deal is being delayed.