Il Bisonte - full interview with la Gazzeta dello Sport - Sportweek

Mind you, guys, I´m putting in the G Translate English version, as I don´t want to mess with SEO of CdT with duplicate texts. Translation is due to the instrument, I don´t know Italian, but common sense should be enough to get along woth weird words. Interviewed by Serena Gentile.

Zaniolo tells himself: "I, Ibra, the controversies, the market ... I'll tell you everything"

He dribbles the word future and not just because he does well, it's his job. The market sirens who want him one day at Milan and the other at Juve exalt him as it is right and beautiful it is. But life has already taught him that in a moment he can change everything, you can end up from the stars to the infirmary with the broken crusader, first one and then the other. And viceversa. Nicolò Zaniolo thanks, he prefers to train and talk about today, what comes we will face. Used to chasing, as soon as his ankle stops hurting, he will chase again a place in the national team and the future.

Meanwhile, Rome locks him down at 65 million cash. The comparison with Dybala almost embarrasses him. The dream of playing with Ibra has come true and maybe it continues. Zero bad boy, very tender young dad. And it is not easy to be a father at 22, almost 23. Nor to bring out the feelings.

This season's balance sheet: what do you save and what do you delete?

"This year went very well, from a physical point of view I had very few problems after two very serious injuries and that was the focus. It was essential not to stop, it was essential to resume continuity, go back to being a footballer and put in performances as I did. It was crazy to think that I would return to the field after two years and manage to score 25-30 goals, I'm happy with how it went, of my 8. With trophy. The Conference League was our goal and we brought it home. I'm very happy".

With his ankle already sore, but present and in goal: what a final with Feyenoord!

"I had to be there, it's a big result that we wanted and had to achieve for the team, for the city, for the fans and for ourselves. Making it with one of my goals was wonderful ".

Conference League plus Europa League qualification. No regrets?

"It was a very tiring season, we played 50 games, of course we lost some points that we could have avoided losing, but we also built something important. Roma had not played a final in a European cup for many years, we also won it, so it went well, very well ".

What do we throw out the window?

"Those days when I was nervous ... because the ball did not go into the goal, because the goalkeeper did a miracle for me, because I had discussed with the referee ... I am realizing that it is useless to get angry: energy is wasted".

Shall we also throw away that rude gesture to the Lazio fans?

"Oh yeah. That was also dictated by the defeat we had suffered, which was a bad defeat. The Rome derby is the Rome derby. If I have offended someone, I apologize. But it is also a bit part of the mockery the city has always lived with. And for me it ended up there on the pitch, where things are done that with a clear mind you would not do ".

The derby is a question of life or death. In Rome you can't live it otherwise.

"Feel the shirt you're wearing and all the people you're wearing it for. We had lost a derby at home that we didn't want to lose, I gnawed a little and that gesture came out. I apologize, again ".

Good intentions, then: improve self control, dribble provocations.

"Exactly. This is a goal that I must set myself for my neighbor, stop falling into useless provocations that are useless ".

But let's not delete the video of the Roma party, with the choir on Zaccagni: because it is clear that you do not sing ... But why do you always end up in the midst of controversy?

"I don't know and I don't even wonder anymore. I think about improving, what is happening around is an outline and often does not matter. In the end, the team and I go on the pitch. And what matters is winning games, not talking. I learned not to listen, at first I do not deny that I listened a lot and let's say that the things that were said touched me a little. Then you understand that it is better to put the caps on and go out on the pitch and do what you have to do. And what can you do ".

Also because it is often all envy, but it can hurt.

"It can hurt, yes. In the darkest moments, when you are weaker, people instead of helping you maybe put the load on it. And you can suffer from it. But there you have to be strong and have the people who love you next to you, those who give you a pat on the back and help you to react ".

At some point you left social networks ...

"But not for the bad things, I wanted to try to see what life is like without social media, we are always with the mobile phone in hand ... But it didn't last long, after a week I downloaded them".

What did you dream about last night?

"I dream little. And they are not nightmares ".

If you could choose a super power, would you like to be invisible on command?

"No. I'd like to go back to that ball, Veretout's cross in the first leg derby and throw it in instead of taking the post ".

Among the goals achieved in 2021-22 is that you played live with Ibrahimovic.

"Yes, this was a goal. The match didn't go well, they won 2-1, but I made a dream come true. I didn't have the opportunity to talk to him, but I studied him: for his approach to the game, how he moves as a charismatic leader, he is a phenomenon ".

But how, didn't you introduce yourself? Are you ashamed?

"To get closer, yes (laughs). I admired it from afar. Playing together was very nice ".

Transfer market radio has been talking for months now about the interest of Milan, Juve and a team abroad, Newcastle.

"The interest of these great teams makes me happy: if they think of you it means that you are worth. I train even more motivated: I want to show that it is right to be associated with these top clubs "

How much have injuries changed you?

"A lot, even from a human point of view. They taught me that you must always react positively, whether something good or bad happens to you. That you need to have balance. What's the use of the gym, too ... I used to go there because they told me so, today I go there otherwise I won't be able to train ".

Was the first goal in the Conference League, 400 days after the last one, against Trabzonspor a sigh of relief?

"It was a milestone: the road that led me to that goal was long and I went through several difficult moments. So there I said to myself: from now on you are really back to play ".

The hat-trick at Bodo the most important moment?

"Yes, because of the importance of the match, because of the difficulty of the match, because we lost 2-1 in the first leg so we had to win by force. It was one of the best nights I've been playing ".

When the games count they become more difficult, you got excited there and we saw Nicolò Zaniolo again.

"It was the perfect match, the one where you can do everything".

Including the first hat-trick among the professionals. In between there were also some heavy benches, in the derby won with Lazio and then against Spezia in La Spezia. Nobody likes the bench, but you were good at managing the coach's decisions.

"I accept the decisions of the coach, because ... he decides, even if I would have liked to have played the derby. How I wanted to play in La Spezia, against my hometown team. I think everyone in my place would have liked to have played those two games there. Then I accept the coach's choices, if he decided that way there was a reason, but a bit of a bitter taste remains in the mouth ".

Mou, carrot and stick: it says that people are obsessed with you, that they should leave you alone. Then he puts you on the bench. What did he teach you?

"That's right, carrot and stick. He is a winner, I don't need to remember what he has won. And he taught me to enter the field in the defensive phase, where I had to improve and I still have to do it. And he helped me to manage certain situations: in the past I would have reacted badly or worse due to exclusion from games that were very significant for me. He taught me to bite my tongue: dumb and on the pitch to work harder ".

He often changed form. And you played where the coach wanted, even second striker.

"The 3-5-2 does not enhance my characteristics to the maximum, I prefer the 4-3-3 or the 4-2-3-1 but if the coach decides to play like this and put me in front of it, I have to give 100 % there, for the team and to achieve the result ".

Scudetto at Milan, did you expect it?

"I wasn't expecting the final two-man race. I had given Napoli more chances, I thought he would get to the end, but he stumbled on a couple of missteps, and you pay for those. And if Juve had won the direct clash with Inter in Turin, they could have got back in the running. But in the end it was right, that Milan and Inter played it, because this year they have shown that they are really strong. And I'm glad Ibra, my idol, won it. He brought Milan back to the top, he deserved this Scudetto ".

It could be the last. That knee haunts him.

"But he always knew how to get up. And if he still wants to… ".

Difficult championship for Juventus, the nightmare of the Champions continues ...

"Juve always takes the field with the obligation to win and when they lose a match they are immediately a failure. In the first leg of the round of 16 they played a good game, in the return Villarreal were superior. Is football".

They say you could take Dybala's place.

"The juxtaposition also seems excessive to me. Sure, I'm glad. But he is unique, a fantastic player, very strong. We see. Life is unpredictable, you never know what happens in the future. I think about the present. In the meantime, I train. And I wait ".

"Dale hermano", come on brother, he told you while you were out on a stretcher, the first time you broke your crusader: Roma-Juve on January 12, 2020. It was him, do you remember?

"Who forgets those moments there: I was in a trance, but I remember his voice, that sentence".

Speaking of brothers, you found Abraham in Rome.

"A very good guy, he settled in right away, he's strong and can improve a lot. And he is always cheerful. It is nice to play with him, he conveys serenity. We have fun and I think we also did well on the pitch ".

Would he be one of those people you would miss if you were to leave Rome?

"If I were to leave, I would miss a lot. He is one of them ".

You had given up on the European Championship in order not to take risks, to give your knee time to settle down. It was supposed to be your World Cup, but unfortunately Italy won't go to the World Cup: sorry or angry?

"Sorry, because we have to wait another four years. But it goes on. I'm used to chasing. There will be other objectives in between ".

A national team to be rebuilt, where you will have to keep your place tight. And where there will be no more Chiellini.

"He has always been the most difficult to overcome, he is physically strong and off the pitch he is an exceptional person. The first time Mancini called me I was very young, he is already a senator. He came there to talk to me, to make me feel at ease immediately. Great person, professional, player. I will do everything to convince Mancini ".

You who have experienced disappointment and even bad luck, you know that everything changes in an instant, but you also know that you have plenty of time to redo yourself. Do you even know you're a lucky guy?

"Sure, very lucky. Mother Nature has given me great talent. I have to be good at keeping it and not lose the opportunities I have to get it out ".

From the "it's never too late" series… Does Benzema deserve the Golden Ball?

"After having also brought home the Champions League, it is right for him to win it. He deserves it ".

Almost a year ago Tommaso was born.

"A very great emotion, the most beautiful emotion of my life, the most beautiful that the Lord could give me. I'm happy to be a father, of course I have to improve. We are not born good or bad fathers, nor learned. I want to be a good father and I'm doing my best to become one ".

What father do you want to be?

"I want Tommaso to grow as I did".

Love and football? Have you already given him one?

"No, there is time for the ball ...".

And what did he give you?

"He gives me joy, every time I see him".