A few days before Roma return to action with matches against Bologna and Barcelona, Alessandro Florenzi has spoken of the Giallorossi’s league ambitions, their chances of qualifying for the next round of the Champions League and his own objectives with the Italian national side…
“In terms of individual players, this is the best Roma side I’ve played in,” Florenzi said in an interview with Il Corriere dello Sport. “We have an excellent side and we’re getting better and better every day – we want to achieve something big.”
What does this current Roma side have that you’ve been lacking in the past?
“We have really developed as a group and we all share a common goal: To bring as much silverware as possible back to Rome.”
How have you managed to get your league form back on track after a mixed start to the season?
“The up-and-down results we had in August and September didn’t paint a fair picture because we were playing good football and just weren’t able to take the chances we created. We’re on the right track now and we need to keep it up.”
Does having the most prolific forward line in Serie A make you favourites to win the Scudetto?
“This year there are several teams fighting for the league title and that’s not happened for a long time. Scoring goals is vital to winning but we also need to concede as few goals as possible.”
Who are Roma’s biggest threats?
“Napoli. They have an excellent coach and great individual players.”
How do you see Saturday’s opponents Bologna?
“Roberto Donadoni hasn’t come in and changed everything, but he’s obviously been pushing the right buttons as they have picked up six points from two games. On Saturday we’re going to face a really galvanised Bologna side so it’ll be a tough match, but we have to win at all costs.”
You have already scored three goals against Bologna. Will you be looking for a fourth?
“That’s right, they’re the team I’ve scored most goals against so I hope to continue my positive run.”
What kind of match are you expecting next week at the Camp Nou?
“It’s definitely going to be difficult. Barcelona are the best team in the world, but we did very well against them at the Olimpico. We will go to Spain without fear and we’ll be determined to take our chances when we get them.”
Speaking of Barcelona, how many times have you re-watched that wonder strike from the home fixture?
“I watch it a lot and every time I do I think back to the moments just before I let fly with the shot. It couldn’t have turned out better.”
What are Roma’s chances of getting through to the next round of the Champions League?
“It all comes down to the next two matches and the way we approach them. We need to pick up points against both Barcelona and BATE Borisov.”
Arguably you would already be home and dry by now were it not for a few defensive lapses against BATE and Leverkusen…
“Mistakes happen and they’re the fault of the whole team, not just the defence. All 11 players are responsible for both attack and defence.”
In terms of the Italian national side, what are your objectives for the Euros?
“We want to achieve something big, but we can only do that if we show no fear. In Tuesday’s game against Romania, for example, at 2-1 we should have found that extra gear to make sure we didn’t concede, but there you go.”
What has Antonio Conte brought to Italy?
“Conte is a great coach – he takes every tiny detail into consideration because he knows that details can change a match or even an entire season. I was involved in the national team under Cesare Prandelli and enjoyed it under him too.”
Are there similarities between Conte and Rudi Garcia?
“Rudi is a coach that always tells you things to your face and will let you know when things are going well or not. He provides a lot of support and his approach with all of us has been great.”