“Nobody wanted Zaniolo, not even on loan, and I put him against Real Madrid”

Eusebio de Francesco is one of the new batch of Italian technicians with a modern vision of his work and a philosophy along the same lines. Player, among others, of Roma, he also guided the team from the bench between 2017 and 2019, a period of quite good play and team results, especially in the first season. He was Monchi’s coach, practically his bet and together they lived through that already famous tie in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Champions League, when with that goal from the Greek Manolas culminated a historic comeback. Before he had taken Sassuolo to the Europa League. Now he is waiting for proposals, from Spain as well.

“I would like a project in Italy or Spain, where they play 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, which I like, even in mentality. In the past, for example, Sevilla was interested in me”, he says. There is Monchi with whom he worked side by side and had ups and downs in Rome. “After the Champions League semi-final with Roma, I shouldn’t have accepted the next transfer market that was held. I said it inside the club, but my character led me not to say it publicly. In that Mourinho is great. I will try to improve that too,” he explains. Monchi defended him a lot, although in the end there was a break and a dismissal. “The relationship changed in the second year. Something had worn off and I stepped back a little bit,” he states.

De Francesco is famous in Italy for betting on talent, even if he is young. He did it with Berardi and gave the alternative to a Zaniolo who is now an icon of Roma, despite the fact that at that time they did not bet on him. “I am used to working with what I have, although sometimes it can go wrong. I did not agree with that market. But it was me who released Zaniolo, when the clubs didn’t even want him on loan. Instead, I made him debut against Real Madrid to make him understand that I believed in him. A bit like he had done with Berardi, ”says Francesco that he spent his time as a coach at Roma under other ownership. He now sees the arrival of the Friedkins very positively. “I really like the version of him. I enjoyed the Conference League and I liked the market they made. It was done wisely. Roma is well built with a tactical identity. (…) The best thing is the illusion that has been recreated. The full Olympic pushes a lot. Even in the error there is more applause. Before if you lost it was a tragedy, now we talk about it positively, which is good for the team. But first there was a bad mood towards the club’s leadership, due to the little bond that had been created, ”he points out.

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