Totti: Ziyech over Pastore…
Francesco Totti insists he wanted Hakim Ziyech over Javier Pastore and regrets how Roma signed none of Eusebio Di Francesco’s chosen targets.
Totti showed no inclination to cool down in the final part of his Press conference as he turned his attentions to Roma’s lack of ambition, in particular ‘directors who are happy to lose’.
“I promised many things to Lorenzo Pellegrini and I hope they come true, because he is a special lad, on the field and off,” revealed the Lupi legend.
“He’s clean-cut, can give so much to this club and this jersey, as he will honour it to the end as a Roma fan.
“At the end of the day, you need a Romanista in there. Because at times, when you see the final whistle and there are smiling faces, it p***es you off.
“When you see directors who are happy to lose… It happens, but I will never name names. If we are all united, then we can achieve something.
“I don’t think they realise what they’re doing here, because they don’t live in the city, experience the tv, the radio, the papers. Being a Roman, understanding what it means to be Roman, is completely different. You have to be here to realise it.
“I am sure that the message coming through to Boston is only 1% of the reality. I hope they can realise what they’ve been doing in removing the Romans from Roma, but evidently that was their choice and what they wanted.
“I am not angry, I am not going against Pallotta or Baldini. I am just explaining why I resigned.
“There were problems over the last two years between me and some Roma directors that prompted me to make this brusque decision.
“If I were to have the opportunity to come back to Roma with different owners, then I’m ready to take the role and do everything possible for Roma.
“It disappoints me that I have to say this here, because I never wanted to resign. My Romanista faith comes first and foremost, obviously.
“Respect towards the fans and my people, and they always will be my people and nobody can ever take them away from me, is paramount.”
The Giallorossi were linked with Ziyech last summer but eventually brought in Pastore, who struggled with injuries whereas the Ajax midfielder reached the Champions League semi-finals.
The Argentine’s failure to live up to expectations coincided with the dismissals of Coach Di Francesco and sporting director Monchi.
“I will not name any players out of respect. I returned from vacation the first year that I retired, they asked me for an opinion on a player and I said that at this moment he would not be good for Roma, because Di Francesco plays 4-3-3. He is in another role, he’s had a thousand injuries, in my view, you’d need another player.
“Other directors said I always complain, that I cause problems, that I create issues. They asked for my opinion. I would’ve made a different choice and I think it would’ve been the right one. I would’ve chosen an Ajax player…
“Other strong clubs, including the strongest, don’t do these things. Whoever gets it wrong, he needs to pay. It can be Messi, Ronaldo, whoever, they have to show reciprocal respect. If you got it wrong, you have to pay.
“After a Champions League semi-final, you think next year, you must head to the Final. But selling players, and I want to defend Di Francesco here – although I want to be clear Monchi chose him, not me, I made no decisions – he asked for four or five players who were never signed.
“It’s too easy to hide, because the truth hurts. The Coach may well have made mistakes, but he asked for four or five players and they signed zero.
“I tell the truth. If a player asked me for advice on coming to Roma, I wouldn’t take him for a ride.
“I’d tell him the positives and the negatives, then he’d make his own decision. I am transparent.
“The positives are the city, it’s beautiful, sunny, and of course the Roma fans, who are the greatest of all.”