Tag Archives: ‘Never

Totti: 'Never again at Roma with Pallotta'

Francesco Totti confessed he will “not set foot” in the Roma training ground while Jim Pallotta is President. “When I drop my son off at the gate, I feel like crying. I’d have cut my leg off for Roma.”

The Giallorossi icon was pushed towards retirement at the age of 40 when the club refused to offer him a new contract, something that still stings to this day.

“I didn’t want to stop playing. I was in good shape physically, so why should I? It’s not that I wanted to play all the time or was trying to force anyone to play me,” Totti told Luca Toni in an Instagram Live conversation.

“I didn’t want to ruin my time at Roma, so it was better to just retire rather than go somewhere else for a year. I am not stupid, I’m not 10 years old, but if I am in good shape physically and mentally, I can see during training that I still have a lot to give and I’m second to no-one…

“I would’ve been happy just being part of the group in the dressing room, helping the coach during difficult moments, working with the younger players to pass on my experience. Every time I came off the bench, the stadium would light up and that atmosphere helped everyone.

“There’s an end to everything, I’m not dumb, but the problem is that some people told me it would be my decision and then shoved me to one side. I was upset, because I would’ve cut my leg off for Roma.”

When Totti did hang up his boots, he briefly worked as a director at the club, but quit with a bitter press conference in which he blasted President Pallotta, consultant Franco Baldini and others for their decisions.

During this Instagram Live discussion, Toni laughed when saying he had a good rapport with the current President.

“Look, as long as the situation is like this, I will not set foot in Trigoria. Every time I drop Cristian off for training, I stay outside the gate. Sometimes I sit in the car and feel like crying to think that after 30 years, I can’t even set foot in there now.

“I left and that’s that. I still have great friends and they come outside the gate to say hello. Every now and then, my son asks me to come in to watch him play, but I can’t do it. That would kill me.”

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Mancini: 'Never wanted to play for Samp'

Roberto Mancini confesses that he never saw himself playing for Sampdoria, “I played for Bologna against Genoa and said: ‘I would never come to play in a city like this,’ two months later I signed for Samp.”

Mancini became a Blucerchiati legend, spending 15 years at the club between 1982 and 1997, but says he had no intention of playing in the city of Genoa.

“I played for Bologna against Genoa in Genoa, we passed the Morandi bridge and I remember thinking: “I would never come to play in a city like this,” two months later I was a Sampdoria football and I stayed for 15 years,’ Mancini told journalist Marco Ansaldo at an event in Genoa.

Mancini stayed at Samp whilst others, like Gianluca Vialli and Sinisa Mihajlovic, moved on to win more silverware.

“I probably would’ve won more, but I have no regrets.

“I met a great person in Paolo Mantovani. The President was 50 years ahead of the others. He was a good man and Samp was our family.

“Win one Scudetto and everything else in Genoa was beautiful because we made a person like Mantovani happy.”

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Fonseca: 'Never a defensive Roma'

Paulo Fonseca made hisRoma debut with a 3-3 draw against Genoa, but insists he will “never prepare a game by concentrating on defending.”

The Giallorossi certainly got off to an entertaining start to this season, but were leading three times only to be pegged back by Genoa.

“When a team concedes goals, it’s not just the fault of the defenders,” insisted the Coach in his Press conference.

“Getting on to the rebounds and second balls was important in this game and we didn’t do that properly. It was a strong start, but after Genoa’s first goal, we struggled to deal with long balls and they ran into open play.

“We improved in the second half, but conceded a goal that we really weren’t expecting. These are things that we need to improve.”

Fonseca had said Roma needed more reinforcements, specifically a centre-back to replace Kostas Manolas.

“As I’ve already said, I have faith in my players. It is well known that we are looking for a centre-back and hope to get him by the end of the transfer market, but he can’t just be anyone. We need a player who adds value or there’s no point.”

Roma already go into next weekend’s showdown with arch rivals Lazio, who this evening won 3-0 away to Sampdoria.

“We study our opponents, of course, but I am focused more on how my own team plays. We will counter certain Lazio strengths, but without losing sight of our own identity.

“I will never prepare a game by concentrating on defending. I want a team that dominates and always takes the initiative.”

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Conte: Never close to Juve

Inter boss Antonio Conte insists he was never close to returning to Juventus and that he feels ‘great responsibility to bring his club to their proper level’.

Conte has made no secret of his unhappiness about Inter’s failure to sign Edin Dzeko or Romelu Lukaku, but the Coach cut a calmer figure before Wednesday’s International Champions Cup clash with Juve.

“I didn’t have to be reassured,” he said.

“The President, directors and I spoke very calmly. I think we’ll make some reflections. After that, decisions will be made for the good of Inter while taking everything into account, not only the field but also Financial Fair Play.

“Of course, decisions can also tip the balance and change expectations. Suning is bringing changes to the club, but time is needed to build a solid base and bring the club to their proper level.”

The 49-year-old was put forward as a candidate to replace Max Allegri, so how close was he to a comeback?

“No, I’ve never been close to the Juventus bench. I never received any phone calls, it was always Inter who showed great affection and interest in me.

“It’s for that reason I feel the great responsibility towards my new club, to build something that isn’t present at the moment.”

The Old Lady ultimately went for Maurizio Sarri, who replaced him at Chelsea…

“If Juve made that decision, they’ll have had good reasons. It’s not for me to judge him.

“Certainly, there will be emotion on my part. It’s the first time I’ve faced the Bianconeri as an opponent since my relationship with them ended.

“Seeing so many of my friends again will be exciting, but that will all be put to one side once the game starts. Juve are an opponent for me and Juve also consider me as such.”

The Nerazzurri, meanwhile, have been boosted by the arrivals of Diego Godin and Matias Vecino in China.

“Vecino came from an injury and is therefore working, respecting his recovery times even if we’re very close to his return.

“Godin has started training with us. They’re two excellent players and I’m happy to have them available.”

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