We bring you the wave of optimism in the build-up to the Champions League semi-final second leg between Roma and Liverpool.
Totti, Monchi, Di Francesco... All were agreed on one slogan for the week: Let’s paint the town giallorossi. It’s a call for red and yellow flags and colours to pop up all over the city from now through the week.
There may be some who just want a respectable game from Roma on Wednesday - something I find more than understandable. No one wants to see the team giving up or putting down tools in the middle of a match, like they had for a long spell in last week’s game.
But if you cannot enjoy weeks like this one and set your mind to party mode, I really believe supporting Roma will take away years of your health and life with no return. Not only that but it makes you pretty disagreeable to be around, when it comes to living with your spouse or family.
We were never meant to be in these semis so soon into the Monchi-EdF era, so get your feel-good factor while it’s there to be had this week.
Monchi: “There’s No Tomorrow.”
Monchi gave most of his thoughts and feeling to a large feature with Il Romanista this past weekend.
Have you seen the letter from the Curva Sud?
Monchi: “Yes. Before anything I’d like to talk about Sean Cox, to follow on from what Pallotta has said. Football and life are two different things in this case, I’m a devout Catholic and I pray for him and his family. We’re human beings, and I hope he can get back to a life of supporting his team. Mauro [Baldisson] and Umberto [Gandini], along with the president, are taking care of [speaking with Cox’s family].
The history of this club tells us we’ve only had this chance twice: once in 1984 and now. It’s time to forget anything other than supporting the team. The Curva said everyone has to carry their flags and their voice to the game, and I’m adding one more thing.”
Monchi: “I’d like that the town be painted yellow and red. Starting today. That all the fans in Rome bring out their flags onto their balconies and make the world understand that Rome supports Roma. While others are talking about violence, let’s make them understand Rome isn’t violent.
Beating Liverpool is more difficult than beating Barcelona. There’s no tomorrow, everything ends on Wednesday evening, and we have to give it our all. Every grandfather, grandchild, son, father, mother: they all play on Wednesday. I had the good fortune to win a lot with Sevilla, but I never got the chance to dream of reaching a Champions League final. I was telling my wife the very same thing: the Champions League final was never a picture in my head.
Everyone has to do their part. Alisson a save, Dzeko a goal, Daniele a pass, those on the bench supporting the team on the pitch. We all have to be convinced of getting it done, because that makes it easier to do it.”
In the second part of his interview with Il Romanista, Monchi confirmed the club had reached a position where they do not have to sell any player by a forced June deadline and will be able to negotiate their own price for players sold this summer.
Monchi: “Things are different. Selling depends on us. I don’t know if I’d say things have done a complete 360, but they’ve certainly changed a lot [from last summer].”
Totti: “Bringing Two Friends with Me.”
Coloriamo la città! Per fare prima, mi porto anche questi 2 amici ❤ pic.twitter.com/rZw4cliwAS— Francesco Totti (@Totti) April 30, 2018
Di Francesco: “Pessimism Reigns For Too Long In Roma.”
Roma’s coach was invited to Rai Uno’s ‘Che Tempo Che Fa’ talkshow, to speak with Fabio Fazio this past Sunday evening.
Your press conference after the match with Liverpool was eventful...
EdF: “I wanted to highlight the pessimism that rules in our world. Instead I’m an optimist. Football is a sport, and should be a joy to live out together.”
Sean Cox is in a serious condition, and Pallotta compared the incident with mafia violence of the past.
EdF: “I share his view entirely, but we’re speaking about a minority. I’m against any form of violence. I’ve played for Roma and I know there’s a great fanbase, always ready to support the team. Our strength will be to look to the present, never too far ahead and never looking back.”
Looking at the celebrations of the fans and inside the dressing room recently, what’s the feeling for you in those moments?
EdF: “The best thing is seeing the people celebrating, it fills me with pride. I step aside and take pleasure in other people’s happiness. That’s kind of been a theme of my life.”
What do you make of Juventus and Napoli?
EdF: “After today’s match, it’ll be hard for Napoli but Juventus have to come and play us. It’s up to us to fight our corner, for no one else but ourselves.”
Di Francesco was also awarded the Giuseppe Colalucci prize earlier in the week - a 4-year-running press award from Italy’s media, within the Italian football circles. It was mostly an award for the moment EdF walked into the press room, after the Barcelona triumph, to a standing ovation from all present.
But Barcelona is behind us now, and Liverpool awaits a raucous Olimpico atmosphere this week.