Following several months of palace intrigue and an ever-expanding shortlist of managerial candidates for the Giallorossi, Paulo Fonseca has finally arrived in Rome to begin his work with i Lupi. Despite the intense controversy swirling around the club since Daniele De Rossi’s departure as a player and Francesco Totti’s departure from his position as director, Fonseca was undeniably upbeat as he spoke both to reporters at Fiumicino Airport and to the club’s television station, Roma TV.
Here’s a transcript of Fonseca’s Roma TV interview:
Did you have any doubts before your arrival in Rome?
I didn’t think twice. To be the coach of Roma is one of the goals of most managers in Europe. As I have said, I am very content and motivated, and I want to build something special and different here with my ideas. We can do great things. We’ve already talked about my ideas, the company’s (ideas), the president’s ideas. I think (the meeting in London) was a fruitful meeting. We talked about many things, and I felt the support of the president, who seemed very interested in my ideas. The meeting went very well.
Do you like Trigoria?
The structure (of Trigoria) made an excellent impression on me; the offices are new and very beautiful. It’s a beautiful atmosphere. Now I will get to know the center of Trigoria well, (but) the first impressions were very positive.
Do you remember the (Champions League) match against Roma?
I remember the Olimpico and that match very well. We (Shakhtar) lost 1-0 on that occasion. It was a difficult moment (for me), there was a fantastic atmosphere at the stadium, and I hope to be able to relive it (that atmosphere) in every match. It will certainly help us (the squad); we will need our fans, and I am sure they will always be there and support us, as they did in that match. I have my ideas and I want to apply them.
What are your objectives?
The most important goal is to construct a courageous squad, that is my primary objective and I believe that with these players, it will be possible to build a courageous squad - one that will not have problems when playing with the strongest sides or the weakest sides. I want my players to demonstrate courage and quality in each game, I want them to express (desire). (To do that), the squad must first believe in my ideas. I will have to motivate the players. They are all high quality, and they will grow further and improve because of our style of play. It won’t be easy to implement our style of play, so I want the players to be brave. But, as I already said, I believe in the quality of these players. We can build a great team.
Do you have a message for the tifosi?
I want to say to the tifosi that it is our intention to build something special. (We intend to build) Something that will make them proud of their team match after match. We will need the tifosi, (because) together, we all can build something big and make some great football, football that will make them proud. We are sure that the tifosi will be by this team’s side.
Without a doubt, there will be much more written about Fonseca’s first few days on the job in the near future. There are already rumors that Fonseca has insisted on keeping Nicolo Zaniolo, letting Patrik Schick, Cengiz Under, and Justin Kluivert have time to show their stuff under his tutelage, and finding replacements for the essentially-departed Edin Dzeko and Kostas Manolas. Once there’s more smoke to write about, you can be sure we’ll decipher it as well as we can.